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SC governor McMaster seeks disaster declaration for Ian cleanup

Tropical Weather Florida
FILE - This GOES-East GeoCcolor satellite image taken at 4:26 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, and provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows Hurricane Ian over the Gulf of Mexico. (NOAA via AP )

Gov. Henry McMaster has asked President Joe Biden to authorize a disaster declaration to help with Hurricane Ian recovery efforts in South Carolina, his office said Tuesday.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division and the Federal Emergency Management Agency found that 17 homes were destroyed, 232 homes had major damage and 82 had minor damage because of the storm which came ashore near Georgetown on Sept. 30 with much weaker winds than when it crossed Florida's Gulf Coast earlier that week.

Still, the storm left many areas of Charleston's downtown peninsula under water. It also washed away parts of four piers along the coast, including two at Myrtle Beach.

Ongoing assessments determined Ian cost state and local agencies more than $25 million.

If the White House grants the request, the declaration would provide direct financial aid to residents who incurred uninsured damages to their property in Charleston, Georgetown and Horry counties through the FEMA Individual Assistance Program, according to the news release.

State and local government agencies and eligible non-profits in Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Georgetown, Horry, Jasper and Williamsburg counties also would qualify for reimbursement of some storm-related costs through the Public Assistance Program. FEMA pays 75% of this aid. The division of the remaining 25% will be determined at a later date.

The request, if approved, may also make disaster relief programs available through the Small Business Administration, along with FEMA Hazard Mitigation Program grants to help lessen the impact of future disasters, the release said.