Pasco among counties eligible for federal disaster aid after Debby
TALLAHASSEE — President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster area for the state of Florida as a result of the damage caused by Tropical Storm Debby. The president ordered federal aid to help residents in Pasco, Baker, Bradford, Columbia, and Wakulla counties. Assistance includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses. Other programs will help individuals and business owners recover from the flooding that resulted from the storm. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.Residents and business owners who sustained losses can begin applying for assistance starting Wednesday by registering online at http://www.disasterassistance.gov, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. President Obama called Gov. Rick Scott during last week's Florida Cabinet meeting to offer the federal assistance that he signed off today. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said they are reviewing other areas affected by the storm and that more counties could receive disaster declarations.