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Florida Division of Emergency Management Issues Updates on Recovery Efforts Following Severe Weather in North Florida

5/11/2024

Florida Division of Emergency Management Issues Updates on Recovery Efforts Following Severe Weather in North Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Today, Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) Executive Director Kevin Guthrie visited impacted communities and handed out supplies to residents who were in need due to the severe weather and tornadoes in North Florida on Friday morning. Governor DeSantis issued EO 24-94 which designates 12 counties to be under a state of emergency in order to maximize state resources and cooperative efforts to assist in recovery following the tornadoes and significant storm impacts on May 10, 2024.

The Florida Department of Children and Families and the Florida Department of Commerce have collocated at Sabal Palm Elementary School today, Saturday, May 11, from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. to provide resources for impacted Floridians. At the site, the Hope Florida resource bus will be available to provide internet, charging stations, food, water and hygiene supplies to residents impacted by the severe weather. Florida Commerce will be available to provide in person assistance with resources for businesses and employees.

  • Hope Florida Bus – Sabal Palm Elementary School 2813 Ridgeway St. Tallahassee, FL 32310

The Florida Division of Emergency Management has also opened three points of distribution (PODs) to hand out water and meals ready to eat (MREs) to those impacted by the severe weather. Residents may visit the sites on May 11-13 with operating hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at:

  • Lewis Sr. Woodville Park and Recreation Complex 1492 J. Lewis Hall Sr. Tallahassee, FL 32305
  • Jane G. Sauls Fort Braden Branch Library 16327 Blountstown Highway Tallahassee, FL 32310
  • Apalachee Regional Park 7550 Apalachee Parkway Tallahassee, FL 32311

Florida’s utility providers are actively working to restore power to damaged accounts. As of 12 p.m., over 95,000 utility customer accounts have been restored since May 10. This accounts for half of all impacted residents.  

State Response Efforts

  • The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) is leading the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) for the multi-hazard severe weather event.
  • The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s (FDLE) Sworn Training Unit has a cut crew working in Big Bend to help clear roads and driveways.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) officers stand ready to assist with emergency response equipment and capabilities and are coordinating with state and local emergency management. 
  • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is reporting that all State Parks are open and operational at this time.

Health and Human Services

  • The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is reporting that all county health departments are open and operational, except Leon County.
  • DOH in Leon County has opened a special needs shelter located at: The Florida State University School 3000 School House Rd. Tallahassee, FL 32311
  • DOH Office of Children’s Medical Services (CMS) has contacted all CMS patients and ensured their safety and well-being.
  • CMS provided information on the Hope Florida bus on the supplies being offered to clients and partners.
  • The Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) has been in communication with all the Area Agencies on Aging partners to address unmet needs as necessary. For updates, visit elderaffairs.org.
  • The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is supporting sister agency, the Department of Children and Families, with APD Hope Florida Navigators to assist in providing hot meals and supplies to impacted individuals and families at Sabal Palm Elementary School in Tallahassee.
  • The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has completed six onsite visits to nursing homes and assisted living facilities since the impact of the storm. As of this morning, only one assisted living facility remains on a generator.
  • AHCA has been in contact with residential health care facilities in Leon and Wakulla Counties and coordinating outreach with the health care associations.
  • AHCA will continue to visit health care facilities impacted by severe weather in North Florida until power is fully restored.
  • For the latest information from the Florida Department of Education regarding school districts, colleges and early learning providers, please visit fldoe.org/storminfo

Infrastructure, Roads, State Closures and Outages

  • Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is reporting all state roads are open with no reported closures. Approximately 89 intersections remain without power.
  • As overhead lights and traffic signals are being restored throughout Leon County drivers should actively monitor their surroundings, especially during nighttime hours. Remember, motorists should treat intersections with non-working traffic signals as STOP signs in all directions then proceed with caution. Effective immediately, emergency response vehicles such as, but not limited to, utility vehicles, bucket trucks, and supply trucks responding to the storm in the Tallahassee region are given authorization to bypass all FDOT weigh station facilities.
  • Over 100 FDOT personnel, from maintenance crews to engineers, were mobilized in the field across NW Florida to assist with recovery efforts.
    • 27 additional crews have been placed in the field as of 7 a.m. this morning.
    • Heavy equipment deployed includes skid steers, loaders, dump trucks, and three grapple trucks.
    • Recovery efforts include cut and toss, debris pick up, support utility restoration, traffic signal restoration, and deploy/maintain generators.
  • FDOT Field crews have performed road clearance and cut and toss activities on state roads and requested local roads.
  • FDOT cut and toss activities will continue in support of Leon County with crews working on Old Woodville Highway, Register Road, Fernwood Road, and Myer Park/ FAMU area.
  • FDOT has deployed 54 generators to support temporary signal restoration.
    • 40 additional generators arrived this morning to be disbursed to impacted intersections.
  • FDOT generator crews and fleet personnel are working on fabricating power cords for cabinets with missing cords.
  • FDOT crews continue operations for refueling activities for deployed generators.
  • FDOT reminds motorists to always check FL511 for real-time travel information, including road and bridge closures.
  • Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV/FHP) provided traffic control at various intersections throughout Leon County overnight, completing traffic control at 4 a.m.
  • FHP provided support, roadway clearing and welfare checks throughout impacted areas in North Florida.
  • FHP chainsaw crews assisted in the rapid opening of area roadways due to North Florida severe weather.
  • FHP assisted the FDOT in support of clearing roadways and supporting county sheriffs and local police agencies.

Resources for Employees and Businesses

  • The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) Division of Hotels and Restaurants emergency response teams are actively completing disaster inspections of hotels, motels, and food service establishments in impacted areas to ensure businesses are reopening and operating safely.
  • DBPR Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT) has performed nearly 200 inspections of licensee establishments in impacted areas to assess damages and assist in reopening. 
  • DBPR Division of Regulation is conducting damage assessment sweeps to look for structural damages caused by the Early May Severe Weather Event, and combat unlicensed activity in impacted counties. Residents can report instances of unlicensed contracting to the DBPR hotline toll-free at +1 (866) 532-1440
  • DBPR encourages Florida’s licensed contractors who are looking to help property owners in need of post-storm construction-related services to register with its Florida Disaster Contractors Network at DCNOnline.org. Once homeowners are safely able to assess their home repair needs, DBPR encourages them to log onto DCNOnline.org and search by county for a list of Florida-licensed contractors providing these services in their community.
  • Florida Commerce and the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey in response to the May North Florida Tornadoes. Businesses can complete the survey online by visiting www.floridadisaster.biz and selecting “May North Florida Tornadoes” from the dropdown menu.
  • Updates on closures and business resources are consistently being updated at www.FloridaDisaster.biz.
  • FloridaCommerce will be collocating with the Department of Children and Families at Sabal Palm Elementary School. Business owners and employees can get in-person assistance with recovery resources starting Saturday May 11, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. 

Follow @FLSERT and @GovRonDeSantis on X, formerly known as Twitter, for live updates. Visit FloridaDisaster.org for more information.

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Updated: Saturday, May 11, 2024
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