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Gov. DeSantis visits hard-hit St. Augustine Friday, says he's requesting FEMA funding

The historic community was inundated by significant flooding as Ian passed over the First Coast as a tropical storm Thursday.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis, along with state and federal officials, were in St. Augustine Friday afternoon sharing updates on the state's response to Hurricane Ian.

DeSantis was in the Davis Shores area of St. Augustine, which saw significant flooding as the storm passed through as a tropical storm. He was joined by FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie, Major General James O. Eifert and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell.

DeSantis said he was going to request FEMA funds for the hardest hit area's on the First Coast, such as St. Augustine, St. Johns, Volusia and Flagler counties. 

At a Friday morning press conference, DeSantis said that power remains one of the biggest issues. The governor added that as of Thursday night, officials had contacted at least 20,000 Floridians who filled out a shelter-in-place survey, and about 10,000 have responded that they are safe. More responses are expected throughout Friday.

While an evacuation order was lifted Friday for St. Johns County, St. Augustine residents are being asked to limit their water use to avoid overloading the city's sewer system.

"Remember, having water service does not mean sewer service is functioning normally," the city said in an announcement Friday afternoon. "Toilets may flush sluggishly or there may be no visible signs at all until there is a backup."

Thursday afternoon, St. Johns County Fire Chief Jeffrey Prevatt called the flooding situation "pretty close to Matthew." Prevatt said his department had to make multiple water rescues as the storm passed through, including in evacuation zones where residents didn't leave.

WATCH: Floodwaters 'bleed through walls' of couple's home in St. Augustine

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