FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Florence County was not included in the Governor's initial request for federal disaster relief because it had not yet completed its initial damage assessment, according to a news release from the county's emergency management division.
Since Governor Haley announced the list of counties included on the initial verbal request for federal disaster relief, there have been many questions and rumors about why Florence County was not included, the release states.
The release clarifies that Gov. Haley's request was merely an initial one, and was not intended to include all counties affected by the flooding event in the state. The initial request was merely an attempt to expedite the recovery process. Eligibility for approval of a disaster declaration and federal funding is dependent upon a damage assessment by the county. Damage assessment teams in Florence will begin the initial assessments at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
The initial assessment has not yet happened because the FCEMD has been involved in continuing rescue and response efforts for citizens trapped by the rising flood waters, as well as other response activities. Water rescues have been ongoing since Sunday in areas of Black Creek, Lynches River, Oakdale, Old River Road, Brandonwoods, and Johnsonville.
Once the assessment is complete Tuesday, Florence County will forward the request for inclusion on the Governor's Disaster Declaration list. Once the county is approved, residents will be able to apply for individual relief from FEMA online and over the phone. Click here for instructions hon how to submit an early registration for federal assistance.