President Barack Obama on Tuesday declared a major disaster in Florida and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by Tropical Storm Debby beginning.
The president's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Pasco and Wakulla Counties.
On Wednesday, the federal declaration was amended to add Clay, Suwannee and four other counties.
Money for temporary housing and essential home repairs not covered by insurance is available. Renters, homeowners and business owners may register for help through the Federal Emergency Management Agency or by calling 800-621-3362 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are also available to help with residential and business losses not covered by insurance.
"The funding will provide a range of help to all Floridians from housing needs to providing funding to small businesses to rebuild and open their doors," said Gov. Rick Scott. "It will help farmers, fisherman, families, the elderly and the most vulnerable population return to a state of normalcy."
Tropical Storm Debby made landfall June 27 in Steinhatchee and slogged across north Florida, dropping more than 20 inches of rain in some places. Six rivers across Florida reached major flood stage, and two rivers, the Sopchoppy and the St. Marys, reached record-breaking crests.
Craig Fugate, FEMA administrator, named Gracia Szczech to coordinate federal recovery operations in the affected area.