Gov. Scott Issues Updates on Continued Hurricane Irma Response Efforts

9/12/2017

Gov. Scott Issues Updates on Continued Hurricane Irma Response Efforts

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott toured impacts of Hurricane Irma in Lee County with City of Bonita Springs Mayor Peter Simmons and Lee County Undersheriff Carmine Marceno, and joined Adjutant General of Florida Maj. Gen. Michael Calhoun, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, and members of the National Guard on an aerial tour to assess damage from Hurricane Irma in Jacksonville.

Over the past few days, Governor Scott has also visited four shelters in Pensacola, Immokalee, Jacksonville and Fort Myers. The Governor will continue to be in constant communication with state and local emergency management officials, city and county leaders, law enforcement and National Guard leaders, and utility officials as Hurricane Irma response continues.

EMERGENCY SUPPORT FUNCTIONS BY STATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

  • Flood warnings and rip current risks are in effect      across the state. To see the most current advisories in your county,      click HERE.

POWER AND UTILITIES

  • The current power outage as of 6:00 p.m. is more than      4.7 million accounts. For a full breakdown, click HERE.
  • Do not try to handle downed power lines. Contact your      local utility company to report it.
  • Tampa Electric
  • In total, 425,000 of Tampa Electric’s 730,000 customers      were impacted by the storm. At the peak of the storm, 335,000 customers      remained without power. Power has already been restored to 170,000      customers, or about 40 percent of those affected.
  • Tampa Electric expects to restore power to essentially      all customers the night of Sunday, September 17th.
  • About 3,200 line, tree and other workers, from other      utilities from as far away as the Midwest, Northeast and Canada, continue      to arrive today to assist Tampa Electric, as part of the largest      restoration effort in U.S. history.
  • Florida Power and Light
  • In total, 4.4 million customers were impacted by the      storm. Power has already been restored to 1.1 million customers.
  • FPL expects power restoration to be completed for the      East Coast the night of Sunday, September 17th.
  • FPL expects power restoration to be completed for the      West Coast by Friday, September 22nd.
  • FPL has mobilized the largest restoration workforce      ever assembled with more than 18,000 out-of-state restoration personnel      working around the clock.
  • Duke Energy
  • More than 1 million customers were impacted by the      storm. Power has already been restored to more than 375,000 customers.
  • Duke Energy expects power restoration to be completed      for western service areas the night of Friday, September 15th.
  • Duke Energy expects power restoration to be completed      for central and northern service areas the night of Sunday, September 17th.
  • More than 12,000 restoration workers have been      mobilized to quickly restore power to all customers.
  • Gulf Power
  • Gulf Power has fully restored power to the 13,000      customers affected by the storm and has no storm related outages.
  • Gulf Power has a restoration team in route to Tampa to      assist with power restoration for Tampa Electric.
  • Florida Electric Cooperatives Assoc.
  • More than 760,000 customers were impacted by the storm.      Power has already been restored to more than 318,000 customers.
  • Approximately 3,000 cooperative workers from Florida      and nine other states are deploying to the hurricane impact zone to assist      with restoration efforts.
  • Municipal Utilities
  • More than 800,000 customers were impacted by the storm.      Power has already been restored to about 400,000 customers.
  • Restoration is expected to be completed by the night of      Sunday, September 17th, except hardest hit areas, such as Key      West, which will take longer to restore.
  • Several utilities such as Tallahassee, Kissimmee and      Jacksonville Beach are close to being fully restored. In addition, several      smaller utilities like Newberry are already 100% restored.

FUEL

  • Port Everglades, Port Canaveral and Port of Tampa all      opened today and are actively prioritizing fuel tanker ships. The Florida      Highway Patrol has 20 troopers dedicated to escorting fuel resupply trucks      to communities in need.
  • This week, the Governor took the following actions to      expedite fuel delivery to gas stations:
  • Directed the Florida Highway Patrol to escort fuel      resupply trucks to gas stations;
  • Waived the tax on fuel entering the state;
  • Scott and executive office staff have held daily calls      with all fuel supply stakeholders, including Florida Ports;
  • Following the Governor’s request, Vice President Pence      announced that the federal government has waived the Jones Act upon      Governor Scott’s request, which waives additional rules and regulations to      allow more fuel to get to Florida fast. This waiver ensures that all      options are available to distribute fuel to Florida. The last Jones Act      waiver was issued in December 2012, for petroleum products to be delivered      for relief assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
  • Following the Governor’s request, the Environmental      Protection Agency (EPA) has approved an emergency fuel waiver which allows      more fuel to quickly enter the state. For more information, please      click HERE.
  • Requested eleven states to join Florida in waiving      weight and driver restrictions to move goods more quickly into the state,      including fuel.

LAW ENFORCEMENT

  • More than 200 FWC officers statewide, including partner      agencies, are deployed in areas with resources such as trucks, coastal and      river patrol boats, ATVs and shallow draft boats to respond to critical      areas based on the storm’s path.
  • FWC Special Operations Group (SOG) officers, National      Guard members and an Urban Search and Rescue Team continuing rescue      operations in the Keys.
  • FWC has more than 500 law enforcement vessels deployed      throughout the state. FWC has three teams of 22 officers with 10 boats in      Jacksonville and Northeast Florida conducting search and rescue.
  • FWC has sworn in nearly 200 officers deployed from      Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas.
  • The entire Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), approximately      1,700 troopers, is on 12-hour shifts, with the primary mission to assist      emergency response.
  • The Florida Highway Patrol has 20 troopers dedicated to      fuel escorts from Port of Jacksonville, Port of Tampa, Port Everglades and      Port Canaveral now that all three ports have been opened.
  • FHP is providing security escorts to 44 tractor      trailers with relief supplies into Florida from the Georgia/Florida state      line to Miami.
  • FHP is providing security escorts to 600 utility trucks      into Florida from the Georgia/Florida line into impacted areas of      Southwest Florida. In addition, FHP is providing a security escort to 11      Panama City utility vehicles.
  • 60 FHP troopers have been deployed to assist the Polk      County Sheriff, 50 troopers have been deployed to assist the Collier      County Sheriff and 20 troopers have been deployed to assist St. Johns      County law enforcement.
  • FHP is providing a security escort to seven AT&T      communication trucks to assist with communication coverage in Monroe      County.
  • Despite closed state offices in Volusia Co., DHSMV      staff is at Orange City & Daytona Motorist Services offices to      offer Driver’s License and ID services.
  • FDLE is assisting with search and rescue missions and      is coordinating Florida’s law enforcement response. Response teams      are supplementing local law enforcement in impacted areas with missions      including securing fuel and generators, looting patrols, and local EOC      staffing.

 MILITARY SUPPORT

  • There are more than 9,000 soldiers and airmen on the      ground, as a combined force of members of the Florida National Guard,      partner National Guard states and active duty components, that have      conducted hundreds of missions across the state.
  • The Florida National Guard is actively coordinating a      multi-service effort to conduct life-saving operations in the Florida      Keys, including providing critical capabilities to include road and runway      clearance to enable the delivery of life-saving supplies.
  • Florida Army National Guard aviation assets have been      moved to Opalocka, where they are positioned to begin assisting with air      bridge operations in the Keys beginning tomorrow.
  • More than 1,800 Florida National Guard soldiers and      airmen are supporting more than 250 shelters across Florida.
  • More than 900 Florida National Guard soldiers and      airmen are operating at approximately 80 Points of Distribution sites for      the distribution of food and water as needed.
  • More than 150 Florida National Guard soldiers and      airmen have conducted search and rescue missions in Clay, Duval and Orange      Counties.
  • More than 2,200 Guardsmen from five states (Georgia,      Wisconsin, New Jersey, Indiana and South Carolina) have responded to      assist with Hurricane Irma response operations.
  • The full spectrum of U.S. military has supported      Hurricane Irma disaster relief efforts, which includes the aircraft      carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and the two amphibious ships USS Iwo Jima and      USS New York, which are positioned to begin providing assistance as      requested.

SHELTERS

  • More than 300 shelters are open throughout Florida with      a total population of more than 57,000 individuals. More than 60 special      needs shelters are open with a total population of more than 13,00      individuals. This number is being updated throughout the day. Visit floridadisaster.org/shelters/summary.aspx to find information on shelters in your area.
  • To find information about available shelter information      by county, visit floridadisaster.org/shelters.
  • FEMA is also hosting shelter information on its mobile      app which can be found at fema.gov/mobile-app.
  • The state is fully committed to ensuring adequate food      resources are available to residents impacted by Hurricane Irma, and are      prioritizing these resources based on areas where landfall occurred first      and based upon urgency of need. These areas include Monroe, Charlotte,      Collier, Lee, and Sarasota Counties, and shelters of last refuge. USDA      Foods from the state inventory (405,000 meals) as well as inventory from      the North Carolina Department of Agriculture (427,000 meals) have been      deployed. The state is also working to ensure ice is available for      shelters, canteens, kitchens, and military support operations. Florida’s      Integrated Rapid Response Team (FLIRRT) has been activated for Hurricane      Irma. These teams will be conducting assessments of affected food      establishments in the impacted areas.

PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL

  • More than 100 assisted living facilities, 13 hospitals,      one emergency room and 95 other health care facilities, including 44      nursing homes, have evacuated or are closed.
  • Up-to-date information on boil water notices is available      online HERE.
  • Department of Health (DOH) Environmental Health staff      are conducting assessments throughout the state and epidemiology staff are      monitoring emergency department surveillance to identity carbon monoxide      poisonings relating to generator use.
  • DOH staff continues to provide staffing for special      needs shelters and deploy other assets to aid in county recovery efforts.
  • Department of Health (DOH) Environmental Health staff      are conducting assessments throughout the state and epidemiology staff are      monitoring emergency department surveillance to identity carbon monoxide      poisonings relating to generator use.
  • The state is holding daily calls with assisted living      facilities and nursing homes to ensure they have everything they need to      serve those in their care. The state is aggressively working to restore      power to these facilities.
  • OneBlood is urging all those who are able to visit a      local blood center and donate blood to do so. They have an urgent need for      platelets and O negative blood.
  • The Agency for Persons with Disabilities’ regional      offices are communicating with providers, waiver support coordinators, and      APD customers to ensure they are safe and the status of their homes.
  • Group Home residents are leaving emergency shelters and      returning home as mandatory evacuations are rescinded. Two Group Homes run      by Monroe Association for Remarkable Citizens (MARC) evacuated to Orlando      and plan to stay until Friday. They are waiting to hear from officials when      it is safe to return to Monroe County.
  • The Agency for Persons with Disabilities Rish Park in      Gulf County has reopened today. Operations at Tacachale Center in      Gainesville are returning to normal.
  • APD will be hosting a statewide call on Wednesday with Waiver      Support Coordinators to discuss recovery efforts and any unmet customer      needs.
  • Residents, especially residents with special needs,      should plan for conditions along their route home as well as conditions in      their impacted community. For road conditions, please check 511.com.      Residents should contact their local county or emergency management      officials for the most up-to-date information regarding curfews, power      outages, reentry policies and the availability of necessary commodities.
  • The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs (FDVA)      operates six skilled nursing facilities and one assisted living facility.      All state veterans’ homes are currently operational. Three veterans’ homes      are currently operating on generator power.
  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates a      number of Florida-based medical centers, outpatient clinics and Vet      Centers in the storm path. For specific information on all VA closures in      Florida, please click HERE      or visit http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/hurricane-irma/

TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS

  • The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)      has completed damage assessments on major highways. Every interstate and      turnpike is open for Floridians, however, there is heavy traffic volume on      I-10 eastbound and I-75 southbound. Everyone should continue to listen to      local officials on when to return home.
  • At this point, FDOT damage assessment teams and debris      removal crews are working on assessing damage on US 1 south in the Keys.      No residents or visitors are permitted into the area until an assessment      of damage on roadways and bridges is complete. Local officials will      determine when it’s safe to reenter Monroe County.
  • FDOT continues to coordinate with Google’s emergency      response team to “close” damaged roads in Google Maps in real time      following damage assessments.
  • FDOT’s cut and toss crews will continue to work with      utility crews across the state to clear road debris so power can be      restored quickly.
  • Bridge inspections and debris clearance are ongoing      throughout the state.
  • FDOT is coordinating with other states to deploy additional      resources to Monroe County. A number of other states have offered      assistance. Maryland, Missouri and Delaware are currently deploying crews      to Florida. FDOT continues to coordinate with other states.
  • Around the state, FDOT has 13 traffic management      centers where hundreds of DOT workers are monitoring traffic cameras 24/7.      Real-time traffic information is available at www.FL511.com
  • Governor Scott directed the Florida Department of      Transportation (FDOT) to suspend tolls across the entire State of Florida      in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Tolls remain suspended and immediate      recovery efforts continue.
  • FDOT is coordinating with county emergency operations      centers directly to coordinate any necessary response needs and actions,      including damage assessments and road and bridge closures.

RECOVERY BRANCH

  • An aggressive recovery effort is ongoing, working with      FEMA to identify and activate federal grant programs that can benefit      Floridians and their communities.
  • Following Governor Rick Scott’s request a major      disaster declaration by President Donald Trump. Individual Assistance is      available for Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, Duval, Flagler,      Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas,      Putnam, Sarasota and St. John counties, Emergency Protective Measures      (Category A and Category B) funded through the Federal Public Assistance      Program is available for all 67 counties.

DISASTER ASSISTANCE

  • Residents who sustained losses in the nine declared      counties can apply for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.      Residents who suffered damages from the storm may register now, and if      their county is later included in the declaration, the application will be      processed automatically.
  • Governor Scott will continue to work with President      Trump and FEMA to approve more funding to additional communities affected      by the storm.
  • Residents are also encouraged to download the FEMA App      to begin the registration process. Simply click on Disaster      Resources.
  • If you do not have access to the internet, you may      register by calling 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY); if you      use 711 Relay or Video Relay Service call 1-800-621-3362.
  • The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7:00      a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

SCHOOL AND STATE OFFICE CLOSURES

  • Please visit www.fldoe.org/irma/ to      view all school closures.
  • State offices will continue to follow the lead of local      governments. Closed offices currently include Flagler, Nassau, St. Johns,      St. Lucie, Glades, Jefferson, Lake, Lee, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach      Counties.

VOLUNTEER EFFORTS

  • Governor Rick Scott activated the Florida Disaster Fund to      support individuals who are impacted by Tropical Storm Irma. The      Florida Disaster Fund helps provide financial support to Florida’s      communities in times of disaster. To make a contribution, please      visit www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or text DISASTER to 20222 to make a one-time      donation of $10. Volunteer Florida has also engaged with Facebook to      activate a donation portal online.
  • In response to Hurricane Irma, Lyft is donating      $100,000 to a “Relief Rides” program helping those in need get to/from      hospitals and shelters after the hurricane, as well as partnering with      Team Rubicon to help their volunteers. If you are associated with a      hospital, shelter, or local government, please email florida@lyft.com so      that Lyft can get you access to a pre-funded account to help those in      need. Click here for      information on how partners can use Lyft’s Concierge Service to request      rides for those in need and who may not have access to a      smartphone. If you are an individual in need of a ride, please use      the code HELPFLORIDA. For information on specific locations for Relief      Rides please click here.
  • Volunteer Florida is working with Uber to transport      food to people in shelter. Uber is donating $400,000 of rides, food and      relief to families and communities affected as well as first responders.      Uber will also provide free rides to and from shelters for residents of      Hillsborough and other impacted areas, including Duval County and Lee      County. In partnership with Volunteer Florida, Uber will provide free      rides to help move volunteers to shelters in impacted areas. Local      governments, nonprofits, and organizations with an immediate need can      visit IrmaRelief@uber.com.
  • Volunteer Florida is working with Johnson &      Johnson, which is donating baby supplies and personal hygiene items to      victims, Americares, which is donating pharmaceutical supplies to special      needs shelters, Poland Water, which is donating 100 box cars of bottled      water, American Logistics Network to stand up a multiple agency warehouse,      and multiple volunteer partners.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

  • Nearly 140 Florida State Parks remain closed, and 20      have been opened for day-use only. Park service staff have formed strike      teams to respond to impacted parks and re-open them as quickly as      possible. A full list of closures can be found at https://floridastateparks.org/content/storm-information
  • DEP has mobilized 12 Hazardous Assessment and Response      Teams in coordination with the EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard to assess      hazardous waste facilities and respond to pollution incidents and other      storm impacts. The 40 members of these teams will deploy to Duval and      Hillsborough counties tomorrow to begin assessments.
  • DEP staff continue to respond to local governments and      utilities requests for support. This includes providing support to Cocoa      Beach Utilities to maintain water pressure and ensure drinking water      supplies for the community.
  • Dune and beach fortification activities in St. Johns,      Volusia and Flagler counties that had begun in the week prior to Hurricane      Irma will resume tomorrow.
  • Technical specialists from EPA’s water division are      deploying to Florida to assist DEP staff with wastewater and drinking      water system recovery.
  • DEP has established a mutual aid system to coordinate      responses between utilities, the department, and other responders. This      system is active and continues to coordinate and respond to the needs of      drinking and waste water facilities throughout Florida. This includes      ensuring generators are provided to the Town of White Springs, Alachua      County, City of Delray Beach, City of Pompano Beach and Manatee County for      lift stations, wastewater plant and other vital infrastructure operations.
  • DEP continues to coordinate with GIS and subject matter      experts to map priority sites for preliminary damage assessments, and with      FDOT to assure roads are cleared to priority sites to expedite assessments.
  • DEP is coordinating with US Army Corps of Engineers,      FDOT, US Coast Guard, FWC, and FEMA on debris removal statewide.
  • DEP is mobilizing Beach Response Teams and      participating with assistance of USACE in efforts to expedite recovery of      Florida beaches.
  • DEP has issued an emergency order to ensure recovery      efforts are not hampered or delayed. DEP has expanded that order for power      plants to cover the entire state to assist any facility recovering from      the storm and a new order to waive certain rules for fuel facilities      impacted by the storm statewide. Both orders apply only to impacted      facilities and have provisions to guard the environment while assisting in      quick recovery of critical infrastructure.
  • DEP is working with FWC, EPA, and the U.S. Coast Guard      to mitigate pollutants from submerged vessels.

WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS

  • The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD)      deployed rapid impact assessment and aerial reconnaissance teams to      inspect areas of the regional flood control system.
  • SFWMD is deploying debris removal teams to remove trees      and other debris that could block the drainage of flood waters.
  • The St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD)      has deployed pumps and staff to assist Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns      counties in recovery efforts from flooding caused by Hurricane Irma.
  • On Monday, the SJRWMD began diverting water from the      Upper St. Johns River Basin Project to reduce floodwaters flowing north,      providing flood protection for people and property downstream. The      district closed a structure and four gates to help alleviate extreme      flooding in the river’s lower basin in Jacksonville.
  • The Southwest Florida Water Management District      continues to operate water control structures. All structures without      power are being monitored and are discharging as needed. These structures      can be manually operated if needed.

LAKE OKEECHOBEE

  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District      found no areas of concern during post-Irma inspections of Herbert Hoover      Dike around Lake Okeechobee in South Florida.
  • The current lake level is at 14.55 feet.

BUSINESS, INDUSTRY, & ECONOMIC STABILIZATION

  • DEO is preparing to launch the Florida Small Business      Emergency Bridge Loan Program to provide support to businesses that      suffered economic or physical damage from Hurricane Irma.
  • The Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations      Center business damage assessment surveying tool has been activated for      businesses to report damages resulting from Hurricane Irma. Businesses are      encouraged to visit http://flvbeoc.org/index.php. Click on Hurricane Irma.
  • A private sector hotline is available at (850) 410-1403      to respond to calls from businesses and private sector support      organizations.
  • The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity      (DEO) is readying the Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program to      provide temporary income support to eligible individuals in counties      approved for FEMA Individual Assistance.
  • The state is working to identify the “open/close”      status of businesses. This information is being posted to the SERT      Tropical Storm Irma web page: http://www.floridadisaster.org/info/.
  • The Florida Retail Federation is assisting in      coordinating information to Florida Retailers regarding restocking of      emergency supplies, readying mobile pharmacies, and the transportation of      fuel.
  • The Florida Small Business Development Center Network      is working with federal officials to identify additional staffing and      financial resources to support business response activities.
  • The Florida Chamber of Commerce is coordinating with      their members and local chambers to determine post-storm recovery needs      and identifying resources available to be sent to the affected areas.

INSURANCE

  • Floridians affected by the storm must now begin the      process of surveying damages to their property and belongings. If you need      help finding your Florida’s property insurance company’s website and      contact information, click HERE.      For a list of licensed insurance agents in Florida, click HERE.
  • Consumers with questions about their policies and those      who need help filing a claim should call the CFO’s free Insurance Consumer      Helpline at 1-877-693-5236.
  • It is important to document all damaged property and      belongings. A free smartphone app developed by the National Association of      Insurance Commissioners called “MyHome Scr.APP.book” is available to assist      with photo documentation.
  • OIR has updated its “Hurricane Season Resources” webpage, which contains links to information provided      by the Governor, Chief Financial Officer, Attorney General, Commissioner      of Agriculture, Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood      Insurance Program, and contact information for Florida’s property      insurers.
Updated: Friday, October 20, 2017
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