Saturday, September 06, 2008

Disaster Status Sought By Counties

36 Counties With Significant Storm Damage

LABELLE, FL. -- A disaster declaration from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is being sought for 36 Florida counties that suffered crop damage from Tropical Storm Fay.

Damage was caused by excessive rainfall, flooding, high winds, lightning, and multiple tornadoes. Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson wants Governor Crist to request that the U.S. Department of Agriculture declare the counties a disaster.

The counties meet the threshold of at least 30% agricultural losses as required by the federal Farm Service Agency. Once the disaster declaration is made, producers in the 36 counties will be able to apply for various types of disaster relief such as loans.

The dollar amount of the damage to citrus, vegetables, nurseries, cotton, hay, and other crops as well as to pasture land is still being tallied, but it is significant and will be in the tens of millions to hundreds of millions.

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