LONGBOAT KEY: Little Debby, Big Payday

Town receives $6.6 million from FEMA, state after 2012 tropical storm strike. In June 2012 Tropical Storm Debby blew away an estimated 150,000 cubic yards of sand from town beaches. It brought 10 inches of rain during a three-day period and flooded 51 streets in the town.

After six years of waiting and countless episodes of back and forth with documents, the town of Longboat Key last week received more than $6.6 million in reimbursement from both the federal and state governments for expenses related to Tropical Storm Debby in June 2012.

Consider that when Debby struck in June 2012, President Barack Obama was gearing up for his re-election run. Apple's iPhone 5 would come out three months later. Gas averaged $3.61 a gallon.

But, wait: there's more

In addition to reimbursement just received from the federal and state government, Longboat Key leaders are hoping to see more than  $1 million more in their proverbial mailbox:

  • $357,947 for damages caused by Tropical Storm Fay in August 2008.
  • $14,174.63 additional for damages caused by Tropical Storm Debby in 2012.
  • $331,477.62 for damages caused by Hurricane Hermine in September 2016.
  • $367,593 for damages caused by Hurricane Irma in September 2017.

The money - $5.68 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and $948,026 from the state – has been deposited into the town’s beach fund and will be used to offset future borrowing needed to begin work on planned groin projects, beach nourishment, or both, town officials said.

And that's not all of it.  Town Manager Tom Harmer said the town expects approval soon of an additional $14,174.63 stemming from Debby.