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FL declares flood emergency

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush declared a state of emergency Tuesday in seven Florida counties.

BY SUSAN KIM | TAMPA, Fla. | June 25, 2003

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush declared a state of emergency Tuesday in seven Florida counties.

There has been flooding along several rivers and tributaries throughout west central Florida. Several rivers are above flood stage.

According to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, torrential rain has caused widespread damage that required several evacuation orders to be issued and flooding over a broad area of the state.

The seven counties are Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee, Manatee and Sarasota.

In the North Port/Sarasota area, some 869 homes have been affected by flooding. At the height of the flood, some 3,000 people were evacuated when water levels rose as high as nine feet.

The Hidden Acres area was also hit, with 60 homes affected by flooding. The Salvation Army set up two comfort stations there.

There may be more residential damage dotted throughout southwest Florida but it was still too soon to tell how much, response officials said.

"The water hasn't receded yet," said Lesli Remaly, a Church World Service disaster response and recovery liaison who was monitoring the situation. "The event hasn't ended yet."

The American Red Cross opened at least two shelters in Sarasota County.


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