White House approves disaster assistance for Florida

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WTXL) - The White House has approved federal disaster assistance funds for the areas of Florida hit hardest by recent severe weather.

Florida Governor Rick Scott announced Tuesday that President Obama approved his formal request for the President to declare Florida's storm damage a major disaster.

Federal funds are initially being routed to Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, but officials say the scope of the federal relief may expand as the damage is further assessed.

Florida Panhandle residents and business owners are still cleaning up the flood-damaged area. Nearly 2 feet of rain drenched Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in the span of about 24 hours Wednesday.

Governor Scott praised the decision, but emphasized that there is more work yet to be done. 

“We are continuing to work so every Florida family affected by last week’s storms has the resources available to get back on their feet," said Governor Scott.  "Tonight’s news ensures additional aid towards recovery, but our work is not done. We will continue to focus our efforts so every family in the area can recover, and I look forward to traveling back to the region to assess recovery operations."