St. Lucie a "disaster," official says - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

St. Lucie a "disaster," official says

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) - The economic situation in one Florida county is so bad that an official wants to declare a state of emergency.

St. Lucie County Commissioner Doug Coward says declaring the county a "man-made disaster" would allow officials to access $17.5 million that is typically earmarked for natural disasters.

The money would be used to hire residents for public-works projects that are already approved.

More than 10,760 properties were in foreclosure in St. Lucie County last year. That's more than double the number in 2007. The unemployment rate jumped more than 4 percentage points in one year.

Coward says "it's never been done before, but we have also never had an economy this bad."

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