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Public Papers - 1992 - August

Excerpts of a Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on Disaster Assistance for Florida Following Hurricane Andrew

1992-08-24

The President has ordered Federal assistance to the State of Florida to help in the disaster relief efforts going on there. He has just signed the declaration declaring three counties, Dade, Broward, and Monroe, as eligible for disaster assistance. We probably will have other counties come in later.

The President talked to the Governor this morning by telephone and expressed that he wanted to make sure he knew that he would have the full support of the Federal Government in this effort.

We will be going to Florida within an hour or two. We will probably step up the pace of this event a little bit and depart here at around 3 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. for Florida.

Wallace Stickney, who is the head of the FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Senator Connie Mack will be joining us, and we will fly to Opa Locka, Florida, arriving there probably a couple of hours after we depart here.

We don't have very much information at the moment. The initial damage estimates, the requests for assistance cover about million, but the initial reports of damage could go as high as billion to billion.

So this is just the beginning, but we want to get on the scene quickly and start making available funds for housing particularly and for cleanup and for other emergency needs.

Note: Press Secretary Fitzwater spoke to reporters at 2 p.m. in Warsaw Park Hall in Ansonia, CT. The statement also provided schedule and departure information for the press.

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