Operation Blue Roof expands in Tampa Bay

Operation Blue Roof has expanded to more Tampa Bay counties.

Homeowners in Hardee and Polk counties now have access to the federal service. The purpose of the operation is to provide homeowners a temporary covering of a fiber-reinforced blue tarp over damaged roofs until repairs can be made, according to a Federal Emergency Management Agency news release. The program is free and there is never a charge for services.

The program is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It launched to Pinellas County residents on September 15, and is also available for Hillsborough, Highlands, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

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Only primary residences with standard shingled roofs are eligible for the program. Metal roofs and mobile homes will be repaired as practical on a case-by-case basis. However, roofs with 50 percent or more structural damage are not eligible.

For more information, call 888-ROOF-BLU (888-766-3258), or go to www.saj.usace.army.mil/BlueRoof/. Applicants who use 711 or video relay service can call 800-621-3362. Those who are deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech disability and use TTY can call 800-462-7585.

You can visit the following offices to determine whether you qualify. All centers are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week until further notice.

Hardee County:

Hardee County Library
315 N. 6th Ave.
Wauchula, FL 33873

Polk County:

Bartow Municipal Airport
5253 Airport Boulevard in Bartow

Hillsborough County:

Seffner-Mano Branch Library
410 N. Kingsway Rd., Seffner, FL

Pinellas County

12629 Ulmerton Rd.
Largo, FL 33774

Sarasota County

Bee Ridge Park
4430 South Lockwood Ridge Rd.
Sarasota, FL 34231