On Wednesday, President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in the state of Florida and ordered federal aid to supplement recovery efforts in the areas affected by Hurricane Hermine.
Hermine, the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005, dumped several inches of rain on Florida and caused major flooding issues.
The president’s action makes federal funding available to affected people in Citrus, Dixie, Hernando, Hillsborough, Leon, Levy, Pasco and Pinellas counties.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help residents and business owners recover.
Federal funding also is available to state, tribal and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofits on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities. That’s in place for Citrus, Dixie, Franklin, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Pasco, Pinellas, Suwannee, Taylor and Wakulla counties.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance Thursday by registering online or calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing- or speech-impaired.
The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7am to 9pm seven days a week until further notice.