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corner of content windowHurricane Ivan News
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 23, 2004
CONTACT: FEMA/Florida News Desk: 407-858-6207
                  Frank A. Adinolfe 404-909-0460

FEMA/State Hurricane Response Daily Summary September 23, 2004

Debris Removal a Cooperative Effort

ORLANDO—Florida faces an enormous challenge in clearing and disposing of the mountain of debris created by the successive hits of three powerful hurricanes.

The task, a joint effort by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the state, local governments and private property owners, will take months although the work is well under way.

More than half of the estimated 26 million cubic yards left by Hurricanes Charley and Frances, 15.3 million cubic yards, have been cleared to date. No final estimate is available of debris from Hurricane Ivan, but assessments are 81 percent complete in its declared counties.

FEMA will pay 75 percent of the eligible debris removal cost in the form of a grant to the eligible applicant, but disaster assistance cannot be used to remove debris from private property. Private property owners can get their debris removed if they place it on the right of way of a public road. Local volunteers generally are available to assist the elderly and others who are physically unable to do this.

Financial assistance to the victims of Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Ivan now is $298.7 million to those among 532,027 applicants. Registration on the 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) toll-free number continues to be robust. On Wednesday, 1,514 registered for Charley, 8,914 for Frances and 6,343 for Ivan.

Assistance for housing repair totals $162.4 million, including $60 million to 47,475 renters. FEMA has inspected 229,777 damaged homes and placed 723 families displaced by Hurricane Charley in manufactured homes. Another 442 manufactured homes are ready to be leased.

Plastic sheeting has been installed on 22,631 homes and 139,481 waterproof tarps have been delivered to emergency operations center for distribution.

Storm victims received $136.3 million for other needs, such as replacement of essential property not covered by insurance or other agencies.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved $85.47 million in low-interest loans for home and business repair.

There are 29 disaster recovery centers in the disaster counties and they have provided information on assistance programs to 73,498 storm victims thus far.

Nine shelters remain open serving 1,000 persons. Electricity has been restored to 73 percent of customers in the Panhandle but 54 percent of Escambia County (Pensacola) is still without power.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has received 13,873 claims.

FEMA now has 4,234 employees deployed to Florida and 464 local hires helping with the recovery. These include 884 community relations personnel working in the affected neighborhoods.

The State Emergency Response Team (SERT) is a collaboration of Florida’s emergency management agencies led by the state coordinating officer. SERT’s mission is to ensure that Florida is prepared to respond to emergencies, recover from them, and mitigate their impact. Visit http://www.floridadisaster.org for the latest information on the hurricane relief effort.

On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.

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Last updated: July 08, 2005

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