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Rubio To FEMA: Prepare For Federal Disaster Assistance To Tampa Region
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), today urged Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate to monitor flooding in Florida and promptly support any requests for federal assistance.
“Areas of the Tampa Bay region, along with parts of Central and North Florida, have seen record amounts of rainfall during the past few weeks,” wrote Rubio. “According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather reports, these areas are likely to experience even more severe weather in the days and weeks to come.
“As your agency works with the National Weather Service, and should the Governor request a formal disaster declaration to President Obama, I urge you to consider the recent, and likely future, storms as one incident for purposes of eligibility in federal assistance to the State and affected areas.”
A PDF of the letter is available here, and the full text of the letter is below:
August 10, 2015
Mr. W. Craig Fugate
Federal Emergency Management Agency
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
500 C Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20472
Dear Administrator Fugate,
As the Administrator of the agency responsible for preparing and recovering from natural disasters, I write to you today to alert you to the flooding situation in Florida and specifically request your full and prompt consideration should federal resources be requested.
Areas of the Tampa Bay region, along with parts of Central and North Florida, have seen record amounts of rainfall during the past few weeks. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather reports, these areas are likely to experience even more severe weather in the days and weeks to come. As a result, Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for the counties of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Dixie, and Taylor on August 6, 2015. While damage estimates remain to be finalized as waters have not completely receded, early projections from local officials expect it to be significant.
My office recently traveled to impacted areas of the Tampa Bay region, and saw firsthand the devastation caused by the heavy and sustained rainfall. The Governor has stated other counties will be monitored as weather systems move across the state. The state of emergency could be expanded to include these areas should flooding conditions warrant.
Floridians are well versed in weather events, and have proven to be incredibly resilient. However, the flooding has been compounded by relentless back-to-back storms. As your agency works with the National Weather Service, and should the Governor request a formal disaster declaration to President Obama, I urge you to consider the recent, and likely future, storms as one incident for purposes of eligibility in federal assistance to the State and affected areas.
As Floridians in numerous parts of the State are at the mercy of these continuous weather events, I respectfully request you to monitor, and be prepared to promptly respond to any requests for federal assistance. My office stands at the ready to work with you, and as such, please keep us apprised of any related developments.