Biden releases funds to attend to the devastating passage of 'Ian' through Florida

United States President Joe Biden approved federal disaster funds for serving nine Florida counties in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, the White House announced Thursday, adding that more areas could be approved later as officials assess damage from the storm.

Damage assessments continue in other areas, and additional areas may be designated for assistance once assessments are fully completed,” the White House said in a statement ahead of Biden’s visit to FEMA headquarters for a storm update briefing.

The measure allows access to federal grants to help affected residents and business owners obtain temporary housing, repair houses, obtain loans low cost for uninsured property losses and recover, he said.

It also allows local governments and other groups to share the costs of debris removal, according to the White House.

The funds were designated for the counties of Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, and Sarasota.

Biden is scheduled to visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters in Washington at noon.

FEMA’s chief said Thursday that damage from the Category 4 storm was “catastrophic”.

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