Florida Requests Federal Help After Floods

Florida Governor, Rick Scott, has requested the federal government assistance for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. The governor requested a Major Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance for the two areas which have been badly affected by severe weather over the last few days.

floods pensacola florida
Floods in Pensacola, Florida, 30 april 2014. Photo: nf chronicle @ twitter

The worst of the weather struck between 28 April and 2 May 2014, when torrential rainfall – some reports say as much as 2 feet (60cm) in 24 hours – left parts of Florida suffering from flash floods and the the Santa Fe and Choctawhatchee Rivers overflowing their banks. Local media report that Pensacola, Florida, saw the heaviest rainfall in 24 hours since the 1800s. One person was killed in the flooding and hundreds of others had to be rescued across northern parts of the state.

The Northern Florida Gulf Coast appeared to suffer the worst of the flooding. Governor Scott signed Executive Order 14-144, declaring a State of Emergency for those 26 Florida Counties on 30 April, but has since requested federal assistance for Escambia and Santa Rosa in order to help those communities – who are facing losses of $100 million – to get back to normal after.

Govenor Scott said that the flooding and severe weather has “caused significant damage to the businesses, homes, public infrastructure and transportation networks of the communities throughout the northern Gulf Coast region of Florida.” He continued “We must do everything we can to ensure that these families can get back on their feet, and this declaration would support those efforts,”

FEMA reported that the wave of severe weather that struck across much of southern and central USA in late April and early May killed as many as 30 people. Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Iowa were all affected. A low pressure system brought strong winds, tornadoes, hail and torrential rain across the region.