Biden approves Florida disaster declaration
President Biden approved a disaster declaration Thursday morning for the state of Florida as Tropical Storm Ian continues to cause chaos and mass destruction in the state.
The president’s declaration allows federal aid to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in areas affected by the storm, which made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on Wednesday. The federal funding is also made available to affected individuals in several hard-hit counties, including Hillsborough, Lee and Sarasota, among others.
The federal assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans for uninsured property damages “and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster,” according to the declaration.
Biden’s action comes as 2.5 million people across Florida have been left without electricity, and local law enforcement officials have received calls from people being trapped in flooded homes.
The National Hurricane Center downgraded Ian from a hurricane to a tropical storm early Thursday morning but added that the storm is still expected to result in strong winds and heavy rains across parts of Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina.