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Rubio to FEMA: Approve Counties’ Outstanding Requests for Hurricane Assistance
Miami, FL – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today urged the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to approve the requests of several Florida counties impacted by Hurricane Hermine and Hurricane Matthew. Four counties’ requests are still outstanding nearly two months after Hurricane Hermine hit Florida. Rubio also requested that the remaining counties awaiting decisions after Hurricane Matthew be prioritized.
The full text of Rubio’s letter is below:
October 27, 2016
The Honorable W. Craig Fugate
Federal Emergency Management Agency
500 C Street SW
Washington, D.C. 20472
Dear Administrator Fugate:
Since September, Florida has been hit by two hurricanes, both of which have led President Obama to declare major disasters. On September 1, the state took a direct hit by Hurricane Hermine, which brought sustained rainfall and devastating storm surges to many counties on the state’s west coast. Then on October 6, Hurricane Matthew, a major hurricane, brought devastation to Florida’s east coast. As it has been almost two months since Hermine, and nearly three weeks since Matthew, I write to urge your agency to promptly approve the outstanding requests for assistance made by certain counties.
Following Hurricane Hermine, Franklin, Manatee, Taylor and Wakulla counties made requests for assistance. As of today, these requests remain unfulfilled, and the counties’ residents need to make immediate decisions regarding their recovery efforts. The lack of timely responses from the federal government has exacerbated the problems caused by the storm. Many of these areas are working waterfront communities, like Steinhatchee, Keaton Beach, St. Marks and Panacea, and their residents are doubly burdened by destruction not only to their homes, but also their livelihoods.
Also as of today, the remaining counties requesting assistance for Hurricane Matthew are expected to complete their assessments in coordination with your agency and the state. I implore you to promptly process these requests without delay so that our residents may continue their recovery efforts.
I thank your staff for their hard work in Florida and assistance in the rebuilding effort. It appears delays for the state’s requests are in Washington, D.C., and I therefore urge you to immediately prioritize and approve the outstanding requests for both Hurricane Hermine and Hurricane Matthew.