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President declares local area disaster zone

FEMA is heading to Escambia and Santa Rosa counties to help after the major flooding last week.

Now that the president has signed the declaration of disaster for those counties, a host of grants and low interest loans will now be available. Right now, the FEMA assistance does not include help to pay for repairs to public infrastructure like roads and bridges. That's part of a separate application and local governments are still assessing that damage.

We do have some preliminary numbers in though. Escambia County says infrastructure damage is at about $21 million right now. They do not have figures for homes and businesses yet.

Santa Rosa County says home and businesses damages total just over $8 million. And the total for infrastructure is $5.9 million. And in Okaloosa County damages to homes is just over $3 million and infrastructure is about $9 million. Homeowners in Escambia and Santa Rosa who want to apply for FEMA assistance can call 1-800-621-FEMA or go to or you can go to on your phone.

Santa Rosa County has also asked FEMA to open disaster recovery centers as soon as possible. Those centers act as clearing houses of information, resources, and representatives of various organizations that can help after a disaster.