ugg riding boots Trump approves greater FEMA aid for 37 Florida counties
President Donald Trump on Wednesday approved Orange, Seminole, Lake, Osceola, Brevard and Polk counties to receive individual assistance from the federal government.
Qualified residents of 37 Florida counties can access aid including mortgage assistance and unemployment aid. They are also eligible for late fee forgiveness on JP Morgan Chase loan payments.
Osceola County today reported $66 million of damage the largest so far in Central Florida as part of damage estimates being tallied throughout the region aimed at determining federal aid efforts.
On Tuesday, a bi partisan congressional delegation from Central Florida wrote the president urging Orange, Osceola, Lake, Seminole and Polk counties to become eligible the additional layer of assistance.
“Given that the eye of the storm turned more eastern than expected and crossed over Central Florida, [some of] these counties experienced several hours of hurricane force winds, and should receive prompt consideration and approval for individual assistance,” wrote Congressman Darren Soto, D Orlando, in a letter signed by lawmakers including Val Demings, D Orlando; Stephanie Murphy, D Winter Park; and Dennis Ross, R Lakeland.
With the designation, residents also should be able to qualify for forgiveness on late fees being offered by lenders including JP Morgan Chase on its mortgages, auto loans and credit cards. The bank’s program extends through Sept. 24.
The speed and amount of federal aid that comes to Central Florida depends on everything from the amount of debris that gets carted away to how well counties prepared for the event.
Federal Emergency Management Agency officials said they have seen aid from past catastrophes begin to arrive in as little as a few days or as long as a few weeks. With counties throughout Florida seeking federal assistance on the heels of historic flooding in southeast Texas, federal relief could take longer than it has in the past.
Florida counties that had been added to FEMA’s “individual assistance” by Wednesday afternoon included: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, DeSoto, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, and St. Lucie, Sumter, and Volusia. The list was provided by Ross’s office.
Residents of those counties will have access to unemployment benefits, legal assistance, and temporary housing.
Aileen Perilla / Orlando Sentinel
A man covering his shoes with plastic bags rides his bicycle through a flooded neighborhood in Orlo Vista the day after Hurricane Irma swept through the Central Florida on Sept. 12, 2017. (Aileen Perilla/ Orlando Sentinel)
A man covering his shoes with plastic bags rides his bicycle through a flooded neighborhood in Orlo Vista the day after Hurricane Irma swept through the Central Florida on Sept. 12, 2017. (Aileen Perilla/ Orlando Sentinel) (Aileen Perilla / Orlando Sentinel)
To tally damages, property appraisers this week headed to Central Florida homes and businesses that had reported damage to building officials or 911. After reviewing more than 2,399 properties in Orange, Orange County Appraiser Rick Singh estimated $34.4 million in damages. Lake County Property Appraiser Carey Baker estimated $8.5 million of damage.
Osceola County Deputy Property Appraiser Kenny Pennington’s said about $58.7 million of the county’s estimated $66 million in damages hit residential properties and $7.5 million affected commercial buildings. Some of the neighborhoods flooded included Sherwood Forest and the Good Samaritan community,
Property owners who apply for help from FEMA are expected to hear from the agency within 10 days to schedule an inspection that will determine the extent of damage. Assistance details: 1 800 621 3362.