South Carolina declared as a disaster area

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Photo above: Flooding in Charleston. Photo courtesy of Genny Harding.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of South Carolina to supplement state, local and tribal recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms and flooding on October 1, 2015 and continuing.

The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Charleston, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, and Williamsburg counties. Although Beaufort County is not currently listed, we can provide information to our friends and families who were in the hardest hit areas.

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.

Federal funding also is available to state and eligible local and tribal governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work as a result of the severe storms and flooding in Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, and Williamsburg counties.

Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

W. Michael Moore has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Moore said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional counties may be designated for assistance after the assessments are fully completed.

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov. Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.