Governor Scott asks FEMA for flood help again

Posted at 6:23 PM, Sep 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-11 18:23:02-04

All around Pasco County, we’ve heard the pleas for help.

“You guys can send money to Haiti and go to the moon and all this other crap, why can’t you help us in the United States,” said New Port Richey resident Amy Murray last month.

Many people were forced from their homes.

While county and state funds have been available to repair damage and relocate residents, leaders here are still hoping federal dollars will come too.

FEMA denied the first request to declare a major disaster area in several Florida counties.

But with a letter Friday from Governor Rick Scott directly to the President, an appeal is in the works.

Pasco’s county government said they support the effort to ask again in hopes of getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grants for temporary housing, home repairs, and low-interest loans.

“I think the intention is to better communicate with the federal agencies what the true level of impact is,” said Pasco County administrator Michele Baker.

Although FEMA toured some of the worst hit neighborhoods, they decided state and local resources were enough to handle the need.

But more than a thousand homes were damaged. 600 in Pasco County.

“It’s hard to see that even as you drive the streets of Pasco County unless you get into the neighborhoods and you talk one on one with the folks who have been impacted,” said Baker.

$1.5 million dollars in state funds just became available this week to help residents.

And the Pasco flood recovery center is still open for those in need.

But people here are hopeful the appeal will bring even more help to so many whose lives were turned upside down.