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Hurricane Dennis News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 14, 2005
Contact:  JACOB DIPIETRE (850) 488-5394

Governor Bush Visits Area Impacted by Hurricane Dennis

--Governor highlights assistance available for residents of the Panhandle--

NORTHWEST FLORIDA - Governor Jeb Bush today announced expanded state and federal assistance to counties hardest hit by Hurricane Dennis. During a visit with emergency responders and residents in Franklin and Santa Rosa counties, the Governor announced Wakulla, Franklin, Gulf, Bay, Walton and Okaloosa were declared Presidential Disaster areas, providing greater relief for citizens in the impacted region. Earlier this week, Escambia and Santa Rosa counties received Presidential Disaster declarations.

“Florida and our federal partners stand shoulder-to-shoulder to help disaster victims recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Dennis,” said Governor Bush. “Florida will continue to marshal the resources necessary to assist in recovery efforts.”

In Franklin County, Governor Bush visited with business and community leaders at the Emergency Operations Center and toured damage at Lynn’s Quality Oysters in Eastpoint with oystermen. Franklin County’s oyster industry suffered significant damage from high winds and storm surge produced by Hurricane Dennis, many oyster processing facilities and leaving many oystermen without jobs.

Governor Bush also visited a mobile One-Stop Career Center brought to Franklin County by the Agency for Workforce Innovation. The one stop center provides job training and placement for workers whose employment was affected by Hurricane Dennis. Residents may be eligible for temporary work assisting local governments and non-profits with hurricane clean up. Representatives from the Department of Children and Families (DCF) were also available at the Career Center to replace food stamps to allow eligible residents to replace food destroyed by the storm or spoiled due to the loss of power.

In Santa Rosa, the Governor visited a Disaster Recovery Center, where applicants can meet with representatives from agencies offering housing assistance, low-interest disaster loans, legal services and grants for uninsured or underinsured losses. Residents can register for help by calling FEMA toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or using the TTY number for the speech and hearing impaired at 1-800-462-7585.

Also in Santa Rosa County, the Governor visited Gulf Breeze Middle School where the first responders are distributing ice and water to residents impacted by the storm. Within hours of landfall, the state established points of distribution in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties, providing relief to residents.

Under the Presidential Disaster Declaration, public assistance, which includes assistance to state and local governments and certain non-profit organizations for the repair or replacement of damaged facilities, is available to Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Monroe, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, Walton and Washington Counties.

For more information on the food stamp program, contact DCF at 1-866-76ACCESS, or visit http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/ebt.

For more information on job placement and training available through the Agency for Workforce Innovation, visit http://www.floridajobs.com.

For more information on assistance available through FEMA, visit http://www.fema.gov.

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Last updated: November 09, 2007

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