ByANDREW TAYLOR – The Associated Press•May 24, 2019
The Senate on Thursday passed a long-overdue $19 billion disaster aid bill by a broad bipartisan vote, but only after Democrats insisted on tossing out President Donald Trump's $4.5 billion request to handle an unprecedented influx of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Hurricane Michael has damaged and destroyed thousands of homes and apartments in the panhandle and what’s left isn’t enough to meet the demand. Now FEMA is offering up its “FEMA Trailers” to help address the need.
FEMA is beginning to open walk-in centers in storm-damaged parts of Florida’s panhandle. Here, residents can apply for assistance and ask questions. Several counties affected by Hurricane Michael now have open centers, but there are none yet in the two places most affected by the disaster: Bay and Gulf Counties.
Gov. Rick Scott said the state will “soon” begin accepting applications from citrus farmers whose crops and groves were damaged by Hurricane Irma, after the Joint Legislative Budget Commission on Thursday accepted $357 million in federal funding for the industry.
A big discrepancy between Puerto Rico’s official death toll from Hurricane Maria and lives lost according to Harvard researchers has prompted U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida) and other Democrats to call for new standards in counting storm deaths.
Gov. Rick Scott is asking U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to move quickly to get disaster-relief funding into the hands of Florida citrus growers, as it may be another three months before farmers can start to apply for the money.