US: Federal aid to Florida for Hurricane Ian tops $2B

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal aid to Florida for recovery from Hurricane Ian has topped the $2 billion mark, Biden administration officials announced Monday, one day before the midterm elections.

Most of the money was provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. About $710 million went directly to households, and another $322 million went to the state.

The U.S. Small Business Administration furnished $631 million in disaster loans, and the National Flood Insurance Program has paid out $351 million in claims.

“When I visited Florida in the wake of Hurricane Ian, I said we would be there as long as it takes to rebuild,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “That is what we’re doing.”

Biden toured the damage from the hurricane with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis last month, a rare moment of detente for the two politicians. The hurricane killed more than 100 people and caused billions of dollars in damage.

The president has also campaigned for DeSantis’ Democratic opponent, Charlie Crist, who is trying to return to the governor’s office.

DeSantis has a solid lead in public polls.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.