State officials seeking possible aid for flood-stricken residents in Manatee County

Flooding in the Centre Lake subdivision in Manatee County.

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – State emergency officials were in Manatee County surveying the damage from this weekend’s rains on Wednesday. They want to see if the residents can qualify for any relief programs, because some folks have learned that insurance is not stepping in.

The Centre Lakes subdivision was swamped after days of downpours.

On Wednesday, the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Bryan Koon, came to see for himself. He and his team are making assessments to see if the residents can qualify for state or federal relief programs.

“All the different funds…all those relief programs have different thresholds before they kick in, so that’s what we’re working right now, to understand what’s the magnitude across the state, if its going to get to the point where it will qualify for any state or federal programs,” said Koon.

Some residents like John Holliday learned insurance will not help.

“Got renter’s insurance, but no flood coverage as I found out this morning,” said Holliday. “We lost every bit of the contents that got wet.”

Koon says this is a cautionary lesson for everyone.

“If you rent, your normal rental policy does not cover flood. You need a separate flood insurance rental policy. They’re not extremely expensive, but as those folks are understanding today, if you have a flood and you’re a renter and you don’t have that policy, you don’t have any coverage at all,” said Koon.

In the meantime, locals are cleaning up.

“Why did it happen? That’s what I want to know. I want to know where the water came from and why,” said Joan Curtis.

“As of right now, we’re all devastated and we have nowhere to go,” said Steve Strickler.

Many neighbors believe the waters drained down to Centre Lakes from a nearby subdivision, so county officials tell 8 On Your Side they will see if any building codes need to be changed.

In the meantime, the county is also planning to distribute sandbags on Friday, because more rains are coming.

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