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Rick Scott announces $100k in tornado disaster relief for Escambia, Santa Rosa, Charlotte

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Gov. Rick Scott announced the governor’s office would pitch in $50,000 in state funds to help with relief efforts in three Florida counties damaged by recent tornadoes.

The money – administered through Volunteer Florida, the governor’s commission on volunteerism and service –  will be matched by local authorities for a total of $100,000 overall for Escambia, Santa Rosa, Charlotte counties.

Scott also announced he re-upped on a request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help with debris removal in Escambia and Santa Rosa, in the westernmost part of the Panhandle.

Scott is now asking the federal agency to declare a Major Disaster Declaration, saying the damage caused by 150 mile-per-hour gusts and unusually heavy rainfall are of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capacity of state and local governments.

The combined state and local funding will go toward “feeding, sheltering, and case work” for people in the affected counties, according to Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman.

“The families and businesses affected by these tornadoes have made incredible efforts to rebuild and recover, and I am proud to announce that Volunteer Florida and local organizations have partnered to provide $100,000 for communities across Florida,” said Scott announcing the move.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at [email protected]

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