WEAR - Search Results
Florida governor asks for disaster declaration
OKALOOSA COUNTY -- Damage from heavy rains this month has Governor Rick Scott asking the President for help. He wants a "major disaster declaration", so five counties can apply for $29 million in FEMA public assistance money. Okaloosa is one of the counties on the list.
Okaloosa County's rain damage totals over a million dollars. There have been twenty-plus inches of rain here since July 4. All that rain certainly made the grass grow. In Shalimar, it also created sinkholes. Ken Lawrence saw county workers filling them in while it was still raining.
Ken Lawrence said, “We looked out, saw a truck out here, guys with shovels and kind of doing the whole thing."
For Mike Cadogan, flooding on Meigs Drive made it tough to get his house.
Mike Cadogan said, “I feel sorry for the two people that live there, because they can't get out. I mean they need a rowboat almost to get out."
Most of the damage was in north Okaloosa County. Storms tore up dirt roads, washing out culverts and drains.
Cadogan said, "Those roads, between the holes, little ponds, they hold the water terribly."
One bridge will have to be replaced, on Old River Road at Dead Fall Creek. High water lifted it off its pilings. A federal disaster declaration is needed for FEMA public assistance funding. Lawrence thinks it might be hard to get.
Lawrence said, “In terms of....we think disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, I would say...Probably not."
Cadogan wonders if asking for federal help is the right answer.
He said, "To go every time something happens, and go to the federal government and ask for money, that's why our budget's so high. But everybody forgets that. Everybody wants their money at their time."
For safety and to help people get back and forth from their homes, the county's made quite a few repairs already. If the FEMA money comes through, it will be a reimbursement.