Gov. Scott Releases Updates on Hurricane Michael Recovery in Bay County
Today, Governor Rick Scott visited a disaster recovery center in Bay County and has been in constant communication with local officials and emergency management in Bay County. The following information has been reported to the State Emergency Response Team and includes specific actions the state has taken to aid the residents of Bay County impacted by Hurricane Michael.
Last week, Governor Rick Scott was joined by Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence to receive a briefing from officials at Tyndall Air Force Base. The tour followed Governor Scott’s visit to Tyndall AFB on October 18th, after which he sent a letter to President Trump requesting that he direct immediate action to dedicate resources, manpower and funding to return Tyndall AFB to full operations as soon as possible. To see the letter, click HERE.
Following Governor Scott’s request, FEMA approved Direct Housing Assistance for Bay County. This assistance includes recreational vehicles, mobile homes, multi-family lease and repair and group sites.
FEMA Individual Assistance and Public Assistance was approved October 11. Federal re-employment assistance is also now available for individuals in Bay County.
DISASTER RECOVERY CENTERS
- A Disaster Recovery Center or DRC is a readily accessible facility or mobile office where survivors may go for information about our programs or other disaster assistance programs, and to ask questions related to your case. Representatives from FDEM, FEMA, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), volunteer groups and other agencies are at the centers to answer questions about disaster assistance and low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses. They can also help survivors apply for federal disaster assistance.
- There are currently two DRCs open in Bay County:
- Bay County Public Library 898 W 11th Street, Panama City, FL 32401
- John B. Gore Park 530 Beulah Avenue, Callaway, FL 32404
FOOD AND WATER
- For a map of open grocery stores and pharmacies click HERE.
- There are also several Salvation Army Kitchens/Canteens open in Bay County. For a constantly updated list of sites, visit https://salvationarmyflorida.org/response.
- Currently, 86 percent of cellular service coverage has been restored in Bay County. This does not include mobile cellular assets augmenting the network.
- In Bay County, utility companies have restored power to all homes and businesses who have the ability to receive power.
- Currently one shelter is open in Bay County:
- Arnold High School 550 N Alf Coleman Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407
- Visit https://www.floridadisaster.org/shelter-status/ to find information on shelters in your area. This site is being updated throughout the day.
- On October 15, FEMA Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) was approved for families in Bay County. TSA provides FEMA-funded short-term lodging in hotels and motels for eligible disaster survivors who are unable to return home for an extended period due to disaster-related damages or inaccessibility of their communities. FEMA is currently notifying eligible families in Bay County of their sheltering options under TSA. Families in Bay County looking to confirm their TSA eligibility should call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). You can also visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov for more information on TSA and to find participating hotels and motels.
- There are currently 373 National Guard troops deployed to Bay County. National Guard troops are assisting with conducting reconnaissance, search and rescue, and road clearance missions.
- Local FWC officers continue their land patrol efforts and additional support officers assist with water patrol to enhance public safety.
- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is continuing to assist with local law enforcement missions.
- The Florida Highway Patrol is providing security at various storm recovery and checkpoints throughout the county.
- The Florida Highway Patrol continues to provide escorts for utility trucks and line crews throughout the county.
- The Florida Highway Patrol is assisting at DSNAP distribution locations.
- DHSMV’s Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobiles continue to serve Bay County, offering driver license and motor vehicle services. As of November 1, they have assisted more than 1,100 customers.
TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS
- All state roads in Bay County are open. US 98 has reopened.
- FDOT has completed all bridge inspections in Bay County.
- FDOT is in the process of repairing and restoring damaged traffic signals in Bay County and the surrounding area.
PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL
- The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) is in contact with healthcare facilities to ensure they have the resources they need.
- The following assisted living facilities have been completely evacuated and remain closed:
- Lisenby on Lake Caroline, Mathison Retirement Community Inc.;
- Robinsons Residential Care, Summer’s Landing LLC; and
- Southern Assisted Care LLC.
- The following hospitals have been completely evacuated and remain closed:
- Emerald Coast Behavioral Hospital;
- Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Panama City; and
- Select Specialty Hospital- Panama City.
- The following nursing homes have been completely evacuated and remain closed:
- Bay Center;
- Community Health and Rehabilitation Center;
- Glencove Health and Rehabilitation Center;
- Lisenby on Lake Caroline;
- Panama City Health and Rehabilitation Center; and
- Sea Breeze Health Care.
- The following hospitals in-patient services remain closed, but their emergency departments are open:
- Bay Medical Center & Sacred Heart Health System; and
- Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center.
- Power has been restored and re-entry has been completed for assisted living facility, Superior Residences of Panama City.
- Facilities report their evacuation status to the Agency through the Emergency Status System. An updated evacuation report can be found on the AHCA twitter page: https://twitter.com/AHCA_FL
- The Clifford C. Sims State Veterans’ Nursing Home in Panama City is actively recruiting displaced health care professionals in Bay County. For more information, call 850-747-5401 or visit the home during business hours at 4419 Tram Road in Panama City.
- DCF is providing additional SNAP benefits for customers in Bay County. These benefits are now in the customer’s accounts and accessible on their EBT cards. For more information, click HERE.
- The Department of Children and Families (DCF), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has initiated the federal Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) in 12 counties, including Bay County, to assist communities impacted by Hurricane Michael.
- There are currently four active boil water notices in Bay County. Click HERE for more information.
- 18 ambulances have been deployed and continue to operate in Bay County.
- An online tool for the public to report the location of storm debris in waterways has been deployed. 543 reports of debris have been received.
- DEP has deployed wastewater, drinking water and solid waste technical experts to Bay County to ensure their needs are met.
- 61 Disaster Debris Management Sites have been authorized in Bay County.
- To fulfill water sampling needs, DEP is serving as a courier to deliver samples daily from Bay County to DOH’s lab in Defuniak Springs for analysis.
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY
- Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity attended a roundtable discussion with more than 150 businesses, community leaders and officials from the Florida SBDC, US Small Business Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency. A second business roundtable was also held in Lynn Haven.
- DEO is working to identify strategies for temporary housing in Bay County for those impacted by the storm.
- DEO is working with FDEM to identify potential solutions related to homeowners who may not be able to afford to pay for electricians to assist in repairs and connecting to the utility line from the homes, including utilizing funding from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
- The Florida SBDC Network and the U.S. Small Business Administration have opened Business Recovery Centers (BRCs) to assist small businesses impacted by Hurricane Michael. Small businesses can get assistance applying for state and federal business disaster loans. The Bay County Business Recovery Center is co-located with CareerSource Bay County City Job Center at 625 Highway 231, Panama City, FL 32405. The center is open Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- DEO has launched the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to provide short-term, interest-free loans to affected businesses at www.floridadisasterloan.org. Eligibility changes to the program now allow for small business owners with fewer than two employees located in any of Florida’s 35 counties impacted by Hurricane Michael to qualify.
- Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida has been awarded federal National Dislocated Worker Grants to provide temporary employment to Floridians affected by Hurricane Michael. This program is administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and provides disaster relief employment in the form of temporary jobs that support storm response and recovery efforts. See the Governor’s press release HERE.
- The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has made the Disaster Reemployment Assistance program available for Florida businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a result of Hurricane Michael. To file a DUA claim go to www.FloridaJobs.org or call 1-800-385-3920. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time to assist claimants.
- Disaster cleanup and other related job openings are now available at http://disasterrecovery.employflorida.com for businesses to post job openings and for individuals to find job opportunities.
- DEO has opened the Business Damage Assessment Survey for businesses impacted by Hurricane Michael. Businesses with damage should complete the survey at https://www.floridadisaster.biz/BusinessDamageAssessments.
- Businesses can also visit FloridaDisaster.biz to view tips for assessing storm damage and to register to receive updates on storm recovery.
- The Florida Department of Education issued an emergency order to extend the Best and Brightest scholarships’ deadlines as outlined below. The emergency order is posted HERE.
- The deadline provided in section 1012.731(4), F.S., for school district submission of information related to both the Best and Brightest Teacher and Principal Scholarship programs to the department has been extended to January 7, 2019; and
- The deadline provided in section 1012.731(5), F.S., for the department to disburse scholarship funds to each school district has been extended to March 1, 2019.
- The Department issued guidance to school districts affected by Hurricane Michael regarding student services, including Homeless Student Identification, Immunization Verification, Educational Placement, Exceptional Student Education, and Student and Teacher Support. The guidance document is posted HERE.
- FDOE issued a memo to superintendents in impacted areas to provide additional flexibility related to student reporting. The memo is posted online HERE.
- The Florida Department of Education, Florida Education Foundation and independent booksellers across the state have joined together to host Re-book to Re-build: Hurricane Relief Fundraiser. A portion of sale proceeds on November 3 and 4 at participating bookstores will fund grants that will enable schools impacted by Hurricane Michael to re-stock their libraries and classrooms. A list of participating book stores can be found HERE.
- To accommodate the reopening of schools, Bay County has consolidated the three school shelters into one – Arnold High School.
- All Bay County schools have power and phone connectivity. The district is asking all families to complete a confidential online form to provide them with information about where their children were enrolled and whether they will now be attending a different school following the storm.
- On October 31, 2018, Bay County Schools provided a transportation update HERE.
- The following Bay County schools will reopen November 5, 2018:
- Hutchinson Beach Elementary School
- Northside Elementary School
- Mosley High School (split schedule with Merritt Brown Middle School)
- Oakland Terrace Elementary School
- Parker Elementary School (Patterson Elementary displaced students)
- Tommy Smith Elementary School
- West Bay Elementary School
- Patronis Elementary School
- Waller Elementary School
- New Horizons Learning Center
- Southport Elementary School
- Lynn Haven Elementary School
- Lucille Moore Elementary School
- Deer Point Elementary School
- Callaway Elementary School (Tyndall Elementary displaced students)
- The following schools will have split schedules beginning November 5:
- Mosley High School students will attend class from 7 a.m. – noon at Mosley High School.
- Merritt Brown Middle School students will attend class from 1 – 6 p.m. at Mosley High School.
- Mowat Middle School will reopen November 8.
- The start dates for the following schools are still to be determined:
- Arnold High School (at Surfside Middle School)
- Bay High School at (Jinks Middle School)
- Bozeman Elementary School
- Bozeman Middle School
- Bozeman High School
- Breakfast Point Elementary School
- Breakfast Point Middle School
- C.C. Washington Academy (at Rosenwald High School)
- Cedar Grove/Springfield Elementary School
- Cherry Street Elementary School
- Everitt Middle School at (Rutherford High School)
- Hiland Park Elementary School
- Jinks Middle School
- Margaret K. Lewis School
- Rosenwald High School
- Rutherford High School
- St. Andrew School
- Surfside Middle School
- The following charter schools have announced tentative reopening dates:
- Bay Haven Elementary/Middle School – Nov. 12
- Central High School – Nov. 12
- North Bay Haven Charter School – Nov. 5; in order to plan appropriately for students’ return, the school is asking parents to complete a survey outlining their needs. The survey is available HERE.
- Palm Bay Preparatory Academy – Nov. 12; in order to plan appropriately for students’ return, the school is asking parents to complete a survey HERE.
- Rising Leaders Academy- Nov. 5
- All Bay District Schools students will receive two free meals each day until January 7, 2019.
- Haney Technical Center in Bay County will reopen Monday, November 5, and restart the following programs for current students at their regularly scheduled times:
- Aviation- General, Airframe & Powerplant
- Massage Therapy (Building 2, Room 213)
- Practical Nursing (Building 2, Rooms 201, 204, 215)
- Welding Technology
- Haney Technical Center in Bay County will restart the following programs for current students Tuesday, November 13:
- Computer Systems & Information Technology
- Digital Design
- Medical Administrative Specialist
- Administrative Office Specialist
- Marine Service Technologies
- Automotive Collision
- Automotive Service
- Gulf Coast State College will reopen November 5 at the following campuses: Panama City Campus, North Bay Campus and Gulf/Franklin Campus. The Tyndall Education Center remains closed. The college opened a phone line to address students’ questions in advance of the reopening. The number is 850-873-3514, and it will be staffed 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. through Friday, November 2.
- FDOE will be posting up-to-date information regarding closures and meeting cancellations at www.fldoe.org/hurricaneinfo.
- Governor Scott announced, in partnership with FEMA and the US Army Corps of Engineers, the launch of Operation Blue Roof, which temporarily repairs roofs at no cost to families. Operation Blue Roof is available in Bay County.
- Two of Volunteer Florida’s ESF-15 representatives from West Virginia have deployed to the Emergency Operations Center in Bay County. The representatives are mobilizing registered volunteers and coordinating incoming donations, while serving as a liaison between Volunteer Florida and Bay County.
- This week, registered volunteers from Volunteer Florida’s database were made available to assist with shelter transitions. They will be relocating furniture and supplies, while managing the transportation of shelter inhabitants.
- Volunteer Florida’s partners with Florida Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) and AmeriCorps members are assisting with sheltering, feeding and tarping in Bay County.
- At Governor Scott’s direction, Volunteer Florida has activated the Florida Disaster Fund, the State of Florida’s official private fund established to assist Florida’s communities as they respond to and recover during times of emergency or disaster. In partnership with the public sector, private sector and other non-governmental organizations, the Florida Disaster Fund supports response and recovery activities. To donate, visit, www.volunteerflorida.org/donatefdf/.
STATE EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTER/ CONTACTS
- The State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) contact number is 1-800-342-3557.
- The State Emergency Operations Center Media Line: 850-921-0217.
- Follow @FLSert or @FLGovScott on Twitter for live updates on Hurricane Michael.
- Visit http://www.floridadisaster.org/info to find information on shelters, road closures, and evacuation routes.