McMaster requests disaster declaration as Hurricane Ian damage assessments push past $25M
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) - Governor Henry McMaster requested a presidential disaster declaration Tuesday to help residents in the state affected by Hurricane Ian.
If granted, the declaration provides a wide range of federal assistance programs for individuals, as well as funds for both emergency and permanent work and public infrastructure.
McMaster made the request after extensive damage assessments by the South Carolina Emergency Management Division and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
According to the governor’s office, the assessments found 17 homes completely destroyed, 232 homes with major damage and 82 homes with minor damage due to Ian.
Current assessments show Hurricane Ian cost state and local agencies more than $25 million.
If granted, the FEMA Individual Assistance Program would be made available help to residents affected by the storm in Charleston, Georgetown and Horry counties.
The Individual Assistance Program provides direct financial assistance to residents who incurred uninsured damages to their property as a result of the storm. FEMA Individual Assistance may also provide for other needs on a case-by-case basis.
State and local government agencies, in addition to eligible non-profit organizations, in Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Georgetown, Horry, Jasper and Williamsburg counties would also qualify for reimbursement of certain, storm-related costs through the FEMA Public Assistance Program.
The Small Business Administration and FEMA Hazard Mitigation Program may also approve small business grants to help lessen the impact of future disasters.
WMBF News reached out to McMaster’s office and asked why it took more than a month to request a disaster declaration.
Bryan Symmes, a spokesperson for the governor’s office, explained that every storm is different. He said in many cases the damage done to private and public property is so extensive that it’s clear a disaster declaration is needed, but with Hurricane Ian, crews had to do a complete evaluation of the damage before making the request.
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