Hurricane Hermine declared disaster, federal funds available

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — President Barack Obama has officially declared a major disaster for areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Hermine.

A news release says Obama signed the disaster declaration Wednesday. The president’s action makes federal funding available to residents and businesses in Citrus, Dixie, Hernando, Hillsborough, Leon, Levy, Pasco and Pinellas counties. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Hurricane Hermine made landfall Sept. 2 in Florida’s Big Bend with 80-mph winds. Coastal communities were forced to evacuate, and some areas went without power for a week.

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials say damage surveys are continuing, and additional counties may be designated for assistance.

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