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Governor seeks disaster declaration for Tampa Bay flooding

By Jeremy Wallace

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is calling on President Barack Obama to issue a major disaster declaration to help Tampa Bay recover from the deluge that swamped the region earlier this month.

Scott said prolonged rain in late July in and early August resulted in at least $7.5 million in economic disruption for businesses in five counties and resulted another $2.7 million in losses for individuals and homeowners.

Scott specifically states in his letter to President Obama that the state does not need public assistance as of now for such things as debris removal or other emergency measures, but needs “individual assistance” which includes programs to help homeowners, crisis counseling, disaster employment assistance and disaster case management.

During a 10-day stretch that ended Aug. 3, up to 20 inches of rain fell on some parts of the region, swelling rivers, closing roadways and damaging homes and businesses. Scott declared a state of emergency Aug. 6 for five counties hardest hit by the rains: Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Dixie and Taylor counties.