Gov. Scott Issues Updates on Continued Hurricane Irma Response Efforts

9/16/2017

Gov. Scott Issues Updates on Continued Hurricane Irma Response Efforts

SEBRING, Fla. – Today, Governor Scott will meet with local officials in Highlands County to discuss recovery efforts after Hurricane Irma. The Governor has also met with officials in Key West and Marathon and will continue to remain 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 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 12:00 p.m. is more than      1 million accounts. For a full breakdown, click HERE.      Since the height of power outages, 6.7 million on Monday, power has been      restored to more than 5.6 million accounts, which is how utility companies      measure each Florida home or business. Nearly 85  percent of all      outages have been restored by more than 30,000 restoration personnel      across Florida – the largest power restoration undertaking in history for      a single state.
  • 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. Power has already been restored to       more than 405,983 customers.
    • Tampa Electric expects to restore power to essentially       all customers the night of Sunday, September 17th.
  • Florida Power and Light
    • In total, 4.4 million customers were impacted by the       storm. Power has already been restored to more       than 3,712,560 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.
  • Duke Energy
    • More than 1.3 million customers were impacted by the       storm. Power has already been restored to more       than 1,234,000 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.
  • Gulf Power
    • Gulf Power has fully restored power to the 13,000       customers affected by the storm and has no storm related outages.
  • Florida Electric Cooperatives Assoc.
    • More than 760,000 customers were impacted by the       storm. Power has already been restored to more than 700,000 customers.
  • Municipal Utilities
    • More than 800,000 customers were impacted by the       storm. Power has already been restored to more than 740,000 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.

FUEL

  • Governor Scott is taking aggressive efforts to expedite      refueling statewide. For more information, please click HERE.
  • Port Everglades, Port Canaveral, Port of Jacksonville,      and Port of Tampa are actively accepting fuel. The Florida Highway Patrol      has troopers dedicated to escorting fuel resupply trucks as needed.
  • Since September 6th, Governor Scott has      taken the following actions to expedite fuel delivery to gas stations:
  • Directed the Florida Highway Patrol to escort fuel      resupply trucks to gas stations;
  • Directed law enforcement to provide escorts to fuel      station employees in evacuation zones so stations could stay open as long      as possible before landfall to serve Floridians;
  • Waived the import taxes on fuel entering the state;
  • Waived weight and driver restrictions for highways so      water, food, fuel and emergency supplies could be quickly brought to      Florida and moved throughout the state;
  • Governor Scott and executive office staff have held      daily calls with all fuel supply stakeholders, including Florida Ports;
  • 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, 12 states joined      Florida in waiving weight and driver restrictions to move goods more      quickly into the state, including fuel; and
  • 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

LAW ENFORCEMENT

  • More than 200 FWC officers statewide are deployed in      areas with more than 500 law enforcement vessels including trucks, coastal      and river patrol boats, ATVs and shallow draft boats.
  • FWC has 155 officers, including Special Operations      Group (SOG) and 28 officers from Arkansas Game and Fish      Commission in Monroe County, and 34 vessels. These officers are      working with National Guard members and an Urban Search and Rescue team to      continue rescue operations in the Keys.
  • As a result of the Governor’s Executive Order, the      Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is waiving      certain driver license and motor vehicle service fees for individuals      impacted by Hurricane Irma.
  • FHP is providing multiple escorts to the Keys ensure      the quick delivery of relief supplies, such as food to local supermarkets,      portable toilets, water and resources with the Red Cross.
  • DHSMV Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) Mobiles have      been mobilized for impacted Florida residents in Lee and Collier counties      to provide credentialing services to impacted customers. These services      will begin on Monday.
  • FHP has assigned troopers to assist Monroe County with      traffic and crashes.
  • FHP has assigned six troopers to report to Key West      Police Department to assist with area law enforcement.
  • FHP provided an escort for urgent medical blood      equipment in Marathon.

 MILITARY SUPPORT

  • There are more than 7,000 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.
  • In addition to Florida National Guard personnel and      assets, more than 2,200 Guardsmen from 12 states are assisting with      Hurricane Irma response operations.
  • Florida Guardsmen are actively operating at Points of      Distribution (PODs) throughout the state to ensure supplies are being      quickly provided to those who need them.
  • All Florida Army National Guard aviation assets is      continuing air bridge operations. Guardsmen have been delivering      life-saving supplies to the Florida Keys in coordination with the USS      Abraham Lincoln and USS Iwo Jima.

SHELTERS

  • More than 65 shelters are open throughout Florida with      a total population of more than 4,000 individuals. Nearly 30 special needs      shelters are open with a total population of more than 1,000 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.

TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS

  • The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)      announced I-75 remains open, as flood waters have been receding on the      Santa Fe River.
  • US 41 bridge at the Santa Fe River is now open.
  • Unprecedented river flooding is causing closures and      extensive rerouting of traffic nearby roadways. FDOT is monitoring S.R. 47      and U.S. 121 and will reroute traffic if needed. See closures below:
  • US 27 BRIDGE CLOSURE: Northbound – US 27 traffic to      Lake City detour at NW 9th Street in High Springs. Southbound – US 27 to      Gainesville and Southbound US 27 traffic to Gainesville detour at SR 47 in      Fort White.
  • SR 47 CLOSURE – Traffic is being diverted on the north      side at US 27 in Fort White and on the south side at CR 340.
  • Bridge inspections and debris clearance are ongoing      throughout the state.
  • FDOT debris removal crews have cleared US 1 and has      completed bridge inspection on 26 off-system bridges in Monroe County.      FDOT is closely coordinating support of debris removal in off-system roads      in Monroe County. Local officials will determine when it’s safe to reenter      Monroe County.
  • Governor Scott announced that the Federal Highway      Administration (FHWA) has approved a $25 million Emergency Relief (ER)      Quick Release Grant to support response and recovery efforts for Florida’s      roadways and transportation system. This federal funding will be used to      conduct emergency repairs on impacted roads, embankments, bridges or other      infrastructure and help restore traffic on major roadways to ensure      Florida residents and visitors can travel safely.
  • Governor Scott directed the FDOT to suspend tolls      across the entire State of Florida in preparation for Hurricane Irma.      Tolls remain suspended and immediate recovery efforts continue.

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.
  • President Donald Trump’s Administration expanded Major      Disaster Declaration for Florida requested by Governor Scott includes      individual assistance for Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward,      Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler,      Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough,      Indian River, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin,      Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Palm      Beach, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie,      Sumter, Suwannee, Union, and Volusia counties.
  • Emergency Protective Measures (Category A and Category      B) funded through the Federal Public Assistance Program is available for      all 67 counties.

DISASTER ASSISTANCE

  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is      encouraging individuals and families to be alert for false rumors, scams,      identity theft, and fraud. For resources on how to protect yourself and      your loves ones from disaster fraud, visit https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-irma-rumor-control.
  • Residents who sustained losses in the 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.
  • 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.

 PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL

  • Governor Rick Scott is directing Florida Agency for      Health Care Administration (AHCA) Secretary Justin Senior and Florida      Department of Elder Affairs Secretary Jeffery Bragg to issue emergency      rules to keep Floridians safe in health care facilities during emergencies.      Pursuant to the emergency action, within the next 60 days, all assisted      living facilities (ALFs) and nursing homes must obtain ample resources,      including a generator and the appropriate amount of fuel, to sustain      operations and maintain comfortable temperatures for at least 96-hours      following a power outage. This is based on standards already in place at      all hospitals in Florida. For more information, click HERE.
  • The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration and      the Florida Department of Health is conducting frequent and vigorous      outreach to facilities every day, which includes daily calls with      hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In-person      wellness checks are being conducted for facilities when contact cannot be      made or any facility that reports distress. See full release HERE.
  • Assisted Living Facilities: 225 are utilizing generators, 2,437 have power, 184      have reported as being closed, 193 have reported post-storm evacuations;
  • Nursing Homes:      35 are utilizing generators, 643 have power, 9 have reported being closed,      27 have reported post-storm evacuations
  • Hospitals:      3 are utilizing generators, 304 have power, 8 have reported being closed,      8 have reported post-storm evacuations
  • See the Governor’s statement regarding the tragedy in      Broward HERE.
  • 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 ensure      utility companies restore power to these facilities as quickly as      possible.
  • Up-to-date information on boil water notices is      available online HERE.
  • Disaster Medical Assistance Teams have been deployed to      provide healthcare services to communities in need.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • APD has created a Recovery Toolkit with vital resources      for customers, waiver support coordinators, and providers recovering from      Hurricane Irma. It is posted on the home page of apdcares.org.

VOLUNTEER EFFORTS

  • Volunteer Florida and the Department of Management      Services are seeking state employee volunteers to transport food to      affected areas in Southwest and Northeast Florida beginning Friday, Sept.      15. For more information, visit www.dms.myflorida.com      and click “Hurricane Irma: Volunteer to Help.”
  • 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. Call (754) 900-5949      to request a ride. 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.
  • Uber is donating $400,000 of rides, food and relief to      families and communities affected as well as first responders. Uber is helping      provide free rides across the state to Floridians in need. Call the      toll-free number 844-800-9425 to request a ride. Local governments,      nonprofits, and organizations with an immediate need can email IrmaRelief@uber.com.
  • Salvation Army currently has field kitchens located in      Ft. Myers, Naples and Marathon with the capacity to produce 10,000-20,000      meals each. Additionally, 52 Mobile Canteens with the capacity to prepare      1,500 meals a day are currently serving hot meals across the state.
  • To date, Salvation Army has served more than 311,350      meals and snacks. More than 1,500 volunteers, officers and staff have      worked nearly 22,000 hours in response to Hurricane Irma.
  • In Broward County Meals on Wheels and the Red Cross      have partnered to deliver meals to homebound citizens utilizing the Meals      on Wheel’s existing distribution network to provide food to those unable      to leave their homes.
  • Polk County and Escambia have set up Volunteer      Reception Centers to help coordinate local volunteers.
  • Volunteer Florida partner the American Red Cross      has 2,000 volunteers and 34 shelters housing 7,500 people.
  • Volunteer Florida partner the Southern Baptist      Convention has seven kitchens with a capacity to feed 140,000 people;      hot meals began yesterday.
  • Volunteer Florida partner Feeding Florida has 10 mass      distribution sites opened today and three additional tomorrow with food      boxes
  • Volunteer Florida partner Convoy of Hope is working      with 557 volunteers and has distributed four tractor–trailer loads of      supplies, including 400,000 lbs. of water, food, hygiene kits in Clay      County, Collier County, Duval County, Lee County, Hardee County, Hendry      County, and Marion County
  • Volunteer Florida partner Operation Blessing has      supported over 1,000 residents in need of food and water and is working at      the warehouse in Ocala, Florida. Emergency supplies are prepped and ready      to be sent out in semi-trucks to the hardest hit areas, including food,      water, and hygiene kits for those most in need as well as chainsaws,      generators, wheelbarrows and other tools for clearing debris.
  • Volunteer Florida partner Crisis Clean-up has set up      its hotline; Floridians in need of debris removal and other services can      call 1-800-451-1954. So far, Crisis Clean-up has served 3,889 clients      and 22 organizations have signed up to assist clients with clean up.

SCHOOL CLOSURES

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

  • 59 Florida State Parks have reopened for day-use only,      108 parks remain closed to ensure visitor safety. Park service staff      have formed 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.
  • At DEP’s request, crews from Tennessee and South      Carolina have deployed crews to assist the 117-mile main line repairs      needed from Key Largo to Key West.  Miami-Dade water and sewer teams      have started work and will continue to assist when the additional teams      arrive.
  • DEP continues to coordinate with the EPA and the U.S.      Coast Guard to assess facilities and respond to pollution incidents and      other storm impacts. More than 400 assessments and inspections have been      completed.
  • DEP staff have completed initial inspections to      document damage to structures and the beach-dune system in Nassau, Duval,      Brevard, Martin, Pinellas, Manatee, Indian River, St. Lucie, Palm Beach,      Broward, Franklin and Gulf counties. They will continue surveys in St.      John, Flagler, Volusia, Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties.  DEP’s      Beaches Program staff began conducting more detailed engineering surveys      and damage assessments today in Collier, Sarasota and Charlotte counties.
  • DEP continues to coordinate with US Army Corps of      Engineers, FDOT, US Coast Guard, FWC, and FEMA on debris removal      statewide. DEP contractors are mobilizing to county-identified debris      sites. Debris can be reported here.
  • Dune and beach fortification activities in St. Johns      and Flagler counties that had begun in the week prior to Hurricane Irma      have resumed. Fortification efforts in Volusia county were completed      yesterday. To date, more than 30,000 cubic yards of sand have been placed      in these areas.
  • 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 for lift stations, wastewater plants and other vital      infrastructure operations, providing pumps for flood control measures and      deploying crews to assist with drinking and wastewater facility repairs.
  • 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 expanded that order      again yesterday to benefit beach fortification and repair efforts.

WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS

  • All South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD)      pump stations continue 24/7 pumping operations. Generator and fuel tank      level inspections ongoing at all structures. Debris monitoring, assessment      and removal are ongoing over the weekend.
  • Water managers are continuing to use the S-65A      navigation lock at Lake Kissimmee to increase flows to help further lower      water levels in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes.
  • All structures upstream of Lake Kissimmee are      discharging at maximum rates; all SFWMD boat locks on the river remain      closed to public recreation to facilitate these operations.
  • Water levels in the Big Cypress Basin system in Collier      County continue to recede.
  • The Southwest Florida Water Management District      (SWFWMD) continues to operate water control structures.
  • The St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD)      is assisting Indian River County lower water levels to mitigate flooding      at Blue Cypress Lake.
  • The SJRWMD continues to manage flood control structures      at the Ocklawaha Basin to protect private residences. This includes      closure of the Apopka Dam.
  • The SJRWMD continues to manage the Upper St Johns River      Basin to help mitigate flooding. At this time all possible efforts have      been taken to reduce discharges to the St Johns River; including      maximizing flows through the C-54 to the Indian River Lagoon.

BUSINESS, INDUSTRY, & ECONOMIC STABILIZATION

  • The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity      (DEO) has launched the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan      Program to support businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma to provide      short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced      physical or economic damage during the storm. To complete an application      by the Oct. 31, 2017, deadline, visit www.floridadisasterloan.org.      For more information contact the Florida Small Business Development Center      Network at 850-898-3489 or emailDisaster@FloridaSBDC.org.
  • DEO has launched the Disaster Unemployment Assistance      (DUA) Program to provide assistance to businesses and residents whose      employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a result of      Hurricane Irma. To file for DUA or for more information go to www.FloridaJobs.org or      call 1-800-385-3920.
  • 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 state is working to identify the “open/close”      status of businesses. This information is being posted to the SERT      Hurricane Irma web page: http://www.floridadisaster.org/info/ .
  • Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association is      encouraging lodging operators’ enrollment in the FEMA Transitional Shelter      Assistance Program for displaced persons. All lodging operators are      encouraged to sign-up at http://ela.corplodging.com.​
  • DEO has received approval by the United States      Department of Labor to implement the Disaster Dislocated Worker Program to      assist with cleanup and in providing humanitarian assistance. ​

INSURANCE

  • At the direction of Governor Scott, Insurance      Commissioner Altmaier issued an Emergency Order suspending and activating      certain insurance rules and statutes for the health, safety, and welfare      of Florida’s policyholders. Among other provisions, the Order provides an      additional 90 days to policyholders to supply information to their      insurance company; prohibits insurance companies from canceling or      non-renewing policies covering residential properties damaged by the      hurricane for at least 90 days; and freezes any and all efforts to      increase rates on policyholders for 90 days. The Order can be found HERE.
  • 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.
  • Citizens Property Insurance Corporation has opened      three Catastrophe Response Centers have across Southern Florida. At these      centers, policy holders can file claims, confirm coverage and receive      advance payments for additional living expenses when appropriate. For more      information, click HERE.
Updated: Tuesday, October 31, 2017
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