Gov. McMaster requests disaster declaration for local Hurricane Ian recovery

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Gov. Henry McMaster on Tuesday requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration for South Carolina to aid in local recovery efforts following Hurricane Ian.

The Category 1 storm battered much of the South Carolina coast before making landfall near Georgetown on September 30.

Extensive damage assessments conducted by state, local, and federal agencies in the weeks following the storm revealed that 17 homes were destroyed, 232 homes experienced major damage, and 82 homes experienced minor damage.

State leaders say ongoing assessments have determined the storm cost state and local agencies more than $25 million.

If granted by the White House, Gov. McMaster’s office said the declaration would provide the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Individual Assistance Program with resources to help South Carolina residents who were impacted by the storm in Charleston, Georgetown, and Horry counties.

“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,” Gov. McMaster’s office said.

The Individual Assistance Program would provide direct financial assistance to residents who incurred uninsured damages to their property because of the storm.

State leaders said the Public Assistance Program reimburses applicants for the unexpected, extraordinary costs of recovering from a major disaster. “FEMA pays 75 percent of this aid, and the division of the remaining 25 percent will be determined later,” officials explained.

If approved, Gov. McMaster’s request may also make available disaster relief programs through Small Business Administration, along with FEMA Hazard Mitigation Program grants to help lessen the impact of future disasters.

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