Fay Leaves Death And Destruction In Its Wake

MIAMI (AP) — At least 11 deaths in Florida and one each in Georgia and Alabama are being blamed on Tropical Storm Fay.

Fay was downgraded to a tropical depression last night after making a record fourth landfall in Florida. Its remnants are forecast to dump several inches of rain across Alabama, Mississippi, eastern Louisiana and Tennessee today and tomorrow.

President Bush has declared that four Florida counties hit hardest by the storm are major disaster areas, making them eligible for federal aid.

The declaration makes funds available for emergency work and repairs to governments in Brevard, Monroe, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties.

Funding has not yet been extended to individual homeowners whose properties were damaged by high winds or flood waters.

Florida Governor Charlie Crist says he’s “pleased about the declaration and grateful to President Bush.”