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Hurricane Hermine victims can still apply for aid


Date: November 21, 2016
Source: Tallahassee Democrat
Author:  Jeffrey Schweers


This is the last week to register for federal disaster assistance for anyone whose property was damaged due to Hurricane Hermine.

The deadline is next Monday for residents of Leon, Taylor, Wakulla and eight other counties affected by the Category 1 storm that landed the Friday of Labor Day Weekend. Homeowners, renters and business owners can register if they suffered losses.

As of Monday, nearly 1,800 homeowners and renters received $7.2 million in federal aid. "The grants include funding for basic home repairs, temporary rental assistance and other needs not covered by insurance," FEMA spokesman John Mills said.

Leon County residents received $434,000 and Taylor County victims got about $561,000. Citrus County got $1.9 million, Pasco got $1.4 million and Dixie got $1 million.

The first hurricane to hit Florida in 11 years caused at least $500 million in insured losses and up to $1 billion in economic losses, according to risk management expert Karen Clark of Karen Clark & Co. Leon County saw at least $11 million in damage.

Preliminary damage assessments by FEMA and state emergency officials put the total number of homes impacted in Florida at 2,215 at an estimated cost of $13.6 million. A total of 47 homes were destroyed. Leon County had most homes destroyed —19. Pinellas had the most damaged homes — 541.

Public assistance costs were around $36 million statewide. Leon County put its repair costs at a little over $10 million.

“Assistance from FEMA may include money for rental assistance, essential home repairs, personal property loss and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance,” FEMA officials said.

The National Flood Insurance Program, a part of FEMA, distributed $51.3 million in flood insurance claims related to Hermine.

As of Sunday night, the Small Business Administration had approved $8.156 million in loans for homeowners, renters and businesses.

"We're still encouraging people to get their applications in to us to get them the assistance they're eligible for," SBA spokesman Jack Camp said.

People in the affected areas can also apply for disaster loans through the Small Business Administration — up to $200,000 for damaged real estate, and up to $40,000 for lost or damaged personal belongings.