Collier to receive federal disaster funds due to Tropical Storm Isaac

Kyle Gibbs, 16, and Lindsay Tindell, 14, both of Goodland, kayak dow the flooded streets of Goodland after Isaac on Monday Aug. 27, 2012.

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Kyle Gibbs, 16, and Lindsay Tindell, 14, both of Goodland, kayak dow the flooded streets of Goodland after Isaac on Monday Aug. 27, 2012.

Collier County is one of 11 Florida counties that will be eligible to receive federal disaster funds from damage sustained during Tropical Storm Isaac.

President Barack Obama made the declaration and the counties received word late Thursday, said Dan Summers, Collier County emergency services director.

"It's good news," said Summers. "It's good the (state) government continued to advocate for the counties with a legitimate response cost."

The Tampa Bay Times reported that Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Gov. Rick Scott's request for funding in September. Isaac hit Florida in late August.

Scott moved to appeal the decision. He said the damage was $10 million worse than originally thought. Damage from Isaac is estimated at $36.6 million.

The Times reports it was unclear why the decision was reversed.

Summers said Collier County and all municipalities and organizations like the independent fire districts estimated the countywide impact to be $1.3 million. However, he said the county will have to wait for FEMA to tell them what is eligible and what is not eligible based on the declaration.

"It's a challenging process," he said, adding the county will not receive its money for months after the declaration. "We will have to refine those dollars. We are not going to be held to that ($1.3 million). But I have the confidence that we will receive that and maybe more."

Jack Wert, the county's tourism director, said in an email that Coastal Zone Management has some claims on beach erosion that will be filed by Coastal Zone Management Director Gary McAlpin.

Among the other things the county requested for reimbursement, the cost to set up emergency shelters, fuel and overtime costs for emergency workers. When it comes time to apply for reimbursement, Summers said each agency will have to apply for its own funding.

In addition to Collier County, Bay, Escambia, Franklin, Martin, Monroe, Okaloosa, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Santa Rose counties also will be eligible for federal funding.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

© 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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