TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Nearly $5.4 million in Public Assistance funds has been approved to help repair and rebuild infrastructure in the wake of severe storms between March 26 and May 5, according to State Emergency Response Team and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
To date, FEMA has approved $5,363,535 to pay for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and for repairing or replacing storm-damaged public facilities and infrastructure in the 22 north Florida counties eligible for Public Assistance funds. Of that, the federal share, $3,386,840, or 75 percent, has been obligated to the state to disburse to local governments and certain private non-profits for specifically approved projects. The remaining 25 percent of the costs will be shared by the state and other applicants.
"The storms caused quite a bit of damage to local infrastructure, so we're pleased that repair and replacement costs will be shared by the federal government," said State Coordinating Officer Doug Wright. "Now that the funds have been obligated, it shouldn't be long before the money starts being disbursed for approved projects."
Obligated Public Assistance funds will go to help communities in the following counties: Bay, Calhoun, Dixie, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington.
"Restoring vital services and infrastructure to pre-damaged condition is a priority right now," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Jeff Bryant. "These funds should help communities recover faster and hopefully be better prepared for whatever the future holds- including this hurricane season."
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.