President Biden approves disaster declaration for SC counties hit hard by Ian

SOUTH CAROLINA — President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration for three South Carolina counties hit hard by Hurricane Ian in September.

Money will be made available for people in Charleston, Georgetown and Horry counties.

Earlier this month, Gov. Henry McMaster asked Biden to authorize the declaration.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division and the Federal Emergency Management Agency found that 17 homes were destroyed, 232 homes had major damage and 82 had minor damage because of the storm. Ian came ashore near Georgetown on Sept. 30 with much weaker winds than when it crossed Florida’s Gulf Coast earlier that week.

Still, the storm left many areas of Charleston’s downtown peninsula under water. It also washed away parts of four piers along the coast, including two at Myrtle Beach.

Ongoing assessments determined Ian cost state and local agencies more than $25 million.

The declaration will provide direct financial aid to residents who incurred uninsured damages to their property in Charleston, Georgetown and Horry counties through the FEMA Individual Assistance Program.

State and local government agencies and eligible non-profits in Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Georgetown, Horry, Jasper and Williamsburg counties also would qualify for reimbursement of some storm-related costs through the Public Assistance Program. FEMA pays 75% of this aid. The division of the remaining 25% will be determined at a later date.

The request also makes disaster relief programs available through the Small Business Administration, along with FEMA Hazard Mitigation Program grants to help lessen the impact of future disasters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


(WATCH BELOW: Videos, photos shared online show effects from Hurricane Ian)