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Bush Seeks $2 Billion in Hurricane Aid

August 27, 2004

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush will ask Congress for $2 billion to help victims of Hurricane Charley, the White House said Friday.

The announcement came as Bush was heading for a rally in Miami for his re-election campaign.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said that with the addition of the $2 billion, the federal govenment is expected to provide Florida with approximately $3 billion in assistance and loans.

Congress returns Sept. 7, and the request will be ready then, McClellan said.

Hurricane Charley swept across Florida on Aug. 13, killing 27 people and causing an estimated $7.4 billion in insured damage to homes, businesses and personal possessions.

The storm destroyed more than 12,000 homes and left about 19,000 others with major damage. State officials said 22,862 customers were still without power Wednesday.

FEMA said 136,000 families in Florida have registered for disaster relief and $53 million has been approved in areas affected by Charley. About $20 million in aid already has been paid out.

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