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Nearly $6M In FEMA Aid To Reimburse Hurricane Michael Recovery Costs

 First United Methodist Church in Panama City was rebuilt after receiving damage from Hurricane Michael.
First United Methodist Church in Panama City was rebuilt after receiving damage from Hurricane Michael.

A Panama City church and two state agencies are getting millions in federal aid to recoup Hurricane Michael-related costs.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved on Wednesday nearly $6 million in reimbursements, the latest round funding as part of the agency's public assistance grant program.

Here's where the dollars are headed:

  • The First United Methodist Church in Panama City will get $2 million to cover the costs of rebuilding its sanctuary, great hall, learning center and offices.

  • The Florida Department of Corrections is also getting about $2 million to reimburse costs of evacuating and relocating inmates just before the storm hit in October 2018 and over the following year.

  • The Florida Department of Management Services will get $1.5 million dollars for moving the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the 911 call center to a new location. The agency also paid for repairs at those locations to ensure emergency services continued.

FEMA’s public assistance grants are dispersed to local communities via the state Department of Emergency Management. The agency is in charge of ensuring funds are paid quickly after FEMA obligates the dollars.

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Valerie Crowder is a freelance reporter based in Panama City, Florida. Before moving to Florida, she covered politics and education for Public Radio East in New Bern, North Carolina. While at PRE, she was also a fill-in host during All Things Considered. She got her start in public radio at WAER-FM in Syracuse, New York, where she was a part-time reporter, assistant producer and host. She has a B.A. in newspaper online journalism and political science from Syracuse University. When she’s not reporting the news, she enjoys reading classic fiction and thrillers, hiking with members of the Florida Trail Association and doing yoga.