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Charlotte County leaders declare state of emergency after tornadoes

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Posted at 7:22 AM, Jan 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-18 12:36:11-05

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. — County commissioners on Monday declared a local state of emergency in the wake of Sunday morning's destructive tornadoes.

Charlotte County Spokesperson, Brian Gleason told Fox 4 the damage is enough for commissioners to declare the State of Emergency.

"The next step is for FEMA to issue a declaration and then that sets up the programs that provide aid to communities whether its direct grants or loans," said Gleason.

Gleason said the federal holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day means it could take time for federal help to arrive.

On Monday, the American Red Cross of Southwest Florida is handing out supplies to families who live in the Holiday Lakes and Gasparilla Mobile Estates communities.

Charlotte County Health & Human Services will be distributing disaster kits, as well as literature and resources to allow affected residents to apply for disaster grants and other forms of financial assistance.

The severe storms caused destruction at the Gasparilla Mobile Estates community, destroying many homes.

Commissioners said the Salvation Army will also be bringing food for residents.