TAMPA (FOX 13) - Federal government assistance is available for five Tampa Bay counties impacted by Hurricane Hermine. The Florida Disaster Declaration, signed by President Obama, provides aid to Florida counties including Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas.
Hurricane Hermine drenched parts of the Tampa Bay area, toppling trees and scattering debris. High waters prompted evacuations in hard hit areas. The Anclote River overflowed, spilling into surrounding neighborhoods.
The disaster declaration allows the federal government to offer financial programs supplementing state and local recovery efforts. Those eligible must have suffered Hurricane Hermine damage between August 31st and September 11th. Federal assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs or low cost loans for uninsured property lost. Small businesses can qualify for up to $2 million in loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Farmers are eligible for up to $500,000. The SBA determines who qualifies by reviewing credit history and considering ability to repay.
Individuals and businesses can register for federal aid at www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The phone is available from 7am-9p.m. seven days a week.