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Scott Appeals For Federal Disaster Declaration

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Daylina Miller/WUSF News
The Florida Channel
FEMA denied Florida's request for "Individual Assistance" funding to help Pasco County flooding victims. Gov. Rick Scott appealed.

After getting turned down by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday appealed to President Barack Obama for a major disaster declaration in five counties hit by heavy rains and flooding this summer.

Scott sought the federal declaration Aug. 25 for Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Dixie and Taylor counties. Such a declaration could bring assistance to people in those counties, which were inundated with rain and flooding in late July and early August.

But FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, a former Florida emergency-management director, turned down the request in a Sept. 3 letter to Scott.

"Based on our review of all of the information available, it has been determined that the damage from this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state, affected local governments and voluntary agencies,'' Fugate wrote.

In a six-page letter to Obama on Friday, Scott listed a series of reasons in arguing that the disaster declaration should be approved.

"Over the course of several days in early August, a low pressure system formed along a stalled frontal boundary and moved slowly eastward, bringing in copious amounts of moisture and rainfall from the Gulf of Mexico,'' the Scott appeal said.