Residents of Manatee County with roof damage caused by Hurricane Irma can now sign up for assistance with "Operation Blue Roof."
"Operation Blue Roof" is a program managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Their purpose of the program is to "provide homeowners in disaster areas with fiber-reinforced plastic sheeting to cover their damaged roofs until arrangements can be made for permanent repairs."
This program is for primary residences or permanently occupied rental properties with less than 50 percent structural damage. Vacation rental properties are not eligible. Once the blue roof is installed, the structure must be habitable. Roofs that are flat or made of metal or clay, slate or asbestos tile do not qualify.
This program is available at no cost to eligible primary homeowners in Broward, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota counties. Other counties may be added at a later date.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be in Bartow starting Wednesday to provide no-cost temporary repairs for roofs damaged by Hurricane Irma.
Representatives from the Corps will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Bartow Municipal Airport, 5253 Airport Blvd. in Bartow.
Only primary residences with standard shingled roofs are eligible for the program. Metal roofs and mobile homes will be repaired as practical on a case-by-case basis. However, roofs with 50 percent or more structural damage are not eligible.
To get assistance, you must sign a form to allow Corps staff and contractors to access your property. Those forms can be filled out at the Bartow Airport location.
The program is free and there is never a charge for services. Also, please note the Corps staff does not call residents to sign up.
For more information about Operation Blue Roof and eligibility requirements, call 1-888-ROOF-BLU (1-888-766-3258), or visit http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Emergency-Operations/National-Response-Framework/Temporary-Roofing/ .