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US state of Florida asks for Obama's help in flood recovery
by Staff Writers
Miami (AFP) May 05, 2014


Residents of the Mill Run area leave their homes under a mandatory evacuation order by emergency management officials on June 26, 2012 in New Port Richey, Florida. According to local news, two area rivers have converged and surpassed the 100-year flood plan. Photo courtesy AFP.

Following a month of severe weather, the governor of Florida called on US President Barack Obama Monday to designate part of the state a disaster area so it can receive federal aid.

In a letter to Obama, Governor Rick Scott asked for the designation for two northwestern counties, where resources would be used to help cope with huge losses after heavy rain and flooding.

Since early April, 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," Scott said in his letter.

Escambia and Santa Rosa counties alone, which Scott has asked to be designated disaster areas, face losses of $100 million, he said.

Some areas saw rainfall totaling 55 inches (140 centimeters) in the latest wave of bad weather that stretched Monday through Friday.

The storms caused severe flooding and one death, and led authorities to rescue hundreds of people from roofs and partially submerged houses.

But the extent of flooding "remains unknown," Scott said, because some rivers are still growing.

"We must do everything we can to ensure that these families can get back on their feet, and this declaration would support those efforts," the governor said in a statement, announcing that he will travel to the affected areas again later this week.

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