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FEMA evaluates Okaloosa and Walton Counties


Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties were declared emergency areas by the President today, and now Okaloosa and Walton Counties are going through the evaluation process for that status.
Fema representatives joined state and local leaders in those areas today.

As cleanup efforts continue, like in this neighborhood off of Redden Brunson road in Destin, local governments have started working with state and federal agencies to determine what needs to be done and where.

On Tuesday, community leaders showed state and federal representatives damaged homes and businesses.

Tim Pietenpol, "We actually did some preliminary assessments. We came up with about 200 locations that we requested folks input online to let us know what problems they had."

They're evaluating flood damage in Okaloosa and Walton Counties.
Once that number is established...

Buffy Gilfoil, "The state gets its information and its up to them whether or not they want to request a disaster declaration."

That's the process Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties have already gone through.

If the state declares a disaster, it's sent to the White House.
It takes the President's signature for Fema to get involved.
   
Tim Pietenpol, "They've been very responsive. They're being very inquisitive, they're wanting to see all the areas that we've got trouble in, to take a look at, and hopefully we can get some funding on it so it doesn't all have to be charged from the city."

The crews in Okaloosa County spent time in Destin Tuesday, and will spend Wednesday touring Ft. Walton Beach.
They say that while waiting for a decision, residents should begin their repairs now.

Buffy Gilfoil, ".. they would do well to go ahead with their cleanup at this point. Document your messes, take photographs, and keep receipts. But go forward with your cleanup."

Fema crews spent Tuesday evaluating areas in Okaloosa and Walton Counties, and will continue to do so throughout the week.