FORT MYERS, Fla. — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Friday he is directing the Florida Department of Emergency Management to appeal the federal government's decision to deny tornado relief money to Southwest Florida.
"Despite the federal government's choice to decline assistance, it is our view in the State of Florida that we need to remain committed to helping the people in Lee and Charlotte Counties," DeSantis said.
FEMA this week rejected a request from the state government for federal assistance in the recovery efforts.
Tornadoes swept across Lee, Collier and Charlotte Counties on Jan. 16. An estimated 158 homes were either totally destroyed or suffered some extent of damage. The governor had declared a state of emergency shortly after the storms.
DeSantis was joined in his statement by Kevin Guthrie, director of the Florida Department of Emergency Management, and Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno.
Guthrie said the appeal would take about a week to be compiled and sent to FEMA.
If you were impacted by the tornadoes, we can offer help while our Emergency Management team works with FDEM to identify any additional support that may be available. You can also visit https://t.co/MNwRKKF4rg. pic.twitter.com/IDOUrPvBun— Lee County Government (@LeeCountyFLBOCC) February 18, 2022