Florida officials give briefing on Ian recovery

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis provided an update on recovery efforts from Hurricane Ian.
24:18 | 10/01/22

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Transcript for Florida officials give briefing on Ian recovery
Would we delivered one mega generator that was able to bring their water system back online. We are supporting operations for three different hospital systems to make sure they have the services they need. We're also supporting operations with three logistical staging areas and bases camps throughout the region. We have, um Called in the Army Corps of Engineers at the request of the counties to help with damage to the water system. And I know that some of this is week county water utility some of it may be municipal bottom line is the four is working with all of those groups. I know they're meeting again today to figure out what the best way is to go forward, clearly not having those core services like the water. And like the electrical are really top priorities after the light rescue mission, and so people understand that if you look at what's happened with some of the power restoration efforts we've had Over 55% or 54% of the power that's gone out due to this storm has been restored, And this is a storm that left the state on Thursday afternoon Thursday evening, so less than 40 48 hours after the storm, leaving over 54% of all people that lost power have power back. You're seeing those numbers rapidly improved. In most parts of the state. Obviously when you're talking about here in southwest Florida , some of the areas that were most affected like Santa Bell like Pine Island, those are being serviced. I think by the electrical cooperative debris from the county. I guess they started repairs. You know this morning, and so hopefully there's not a lot of structural damage, but You know, I'm just looking with FTL, and they obviously have a lot of infrastructure and I've asked them paid if the cooperative's need some of the know how and need some infrastructure support . Will you provide it and they said that they would provide it and I think it's not just fbl that will do that. I think Duke and some of the other big utility as well as well, so Um what you've seen progress being made in Charlotte and Lee on the power. I think that's mostly been on fbl sites, and so hopefully they'll be able to get some some progress on some of the county or some of the cooperative sites are going forward. We're happy to have nonprofit partners like World Central Kitchen, Red Cross and Salvation Army. They've already done 70,000 hot meals. And we'll be doing more. We are working with the telecom companies. You know they have surgery sources any of these portable towers, some of the other things to be able to help with the connectivity and get everybody up online. Um But And we hope that that will work very quickly , and I think there probably will be progress. We also we're working. We're working with Elon Musk and StarLink Satellite positioning the Star lights StarLink satellites to provide good coverage in southwest Florida and other affected areas have with me work One happy tell here the star links that we're going to provide. For Lee County , and so what? This will do so they have satellites that beam down, But you can't just get it on your device without having things like that, beaming it to the public or lenient. So those are going to be really for their use at the places that are offering the emergency response so that they can be fully hooked up and can get online if they need to go at the same time. We are working with space checks and we are expecting 120 additional large starling units to deploy. The southwest Florida and so they donated the costs associated with all the coverage . We want to thank SpaceX actions. Thanks Thank you. One must for that a large device. You can put it in different areas in the community that are having problems and they can get a 13 mile radius and they can support over 1000 users at a given time. So you're talking about over 100 of these, Not all will go to leave, but many will go to Lee. Charlotte If there's places in Collier some of our rural counties like risotto and party, they're offline to be able to do that. So that will help bridge some of the connectivity issues, And we think that that's something that's very, very funny, so we're happy to be able to hand this out. Lee County delivered some to Charlotte and I know we have some for the surrounding counties as well. And we're also going to give to search and rescue and this type of response. Unity fiber has provided free broadband access and prison has deployed drones to addition to assess with additional cell coverage and that will also help assess damage and expedite recovery efforts. We mentioned the power situation if you look outside of southwest Florida, you've had really strong comeback. And I, you know Floridians like have been around for a while. Remember some past hurricane people all over the state could be out for weeks at a time. And so you've had millions restored . Um, I think you've had about Just since Thursday evening, when the storm was so That's really good. That's because there were 42,000 lineman staged and ready to go there also being serviced by like the Waffle House is feeding the linemen, and we appreciate that. We appreciate that community reaching out and supporting these folks who were there. You take connectivity for granted. You said you take for granted. You flip the light switch and you get what you need. Well it's not so simple. You need people that are tending to that infrastructure in the hurricane's reveal that we are appreciative of the folks who come from all over the country to assist with this and we're going to continue to do it. Right now. You got about 73% of the county without power and 77% of Charlotte County without power, the county that has them the most without powers, Early Party county, and that is 88% without power 1.6 million gallons of fuel in the southwest Florida. What inspired. Some of them are █very█ busy. Some of tm have generators can be able to run. Some of them may have electricity. Others the fuel is pouring in. It's just they may not have the electricity to operate their pumps, and so that's going to be the issue. As more people come online. You're going to have more of that. We've got a lot of fuel that are that are here. Earmark. Or whatever needs that people have, um We have over 1300 people on the ground for the Florida Department of Transportation. 1300 miles of roadway have been cleared. I think people heard that yesterday you had a lot of river flooding in Charlotte County dot had to close. I 75 for a 12 mile stretch. And so they're constantly monitoring that, obviously, that will be open as soon as they can. But as of this morning they were still doing the detours. Around the flood impact. There's also other areas where we may expect additional flooding. It was interesting. I was touring central Florida with some of the aerial tours. There was more standing water and central Florida and there was here in southwest Florida, even though there are a couple 100 miles away from the initial impact of the of the storm, and the storm surge just had a lot of water that some of the rivers and inlets overflowing. So it's creating a lot of problems really all across the state. Just that impacts Bridges of that impacts roads, then obviously you have got needs to maintain safe. All major ports are now open for fueling and fuels had to becoming. I don't have a mobile command unit in Lee County and in Charlotte County and in party county to help them with their emergency efforts. And so you'll see. Kevin Guthrie is r E M director probably going to be living down here for the time being, you know, Starting very, very soon. FEMA, of course, is activated individual assistance for those in need of help recovering You can visit disaster assistance dot gov or call 1 806 213362 so far, $87,000 people registers probably living evidence of the damage to go. FEMA of course, is activated individual assistance for those in need of help. Recovering you can visit disaster assistance dot gov or call 1 806 213362 so far, 87,000 people Have registered for FEMA. Make sure you take evidence of the damage to your home. If you had flood damage, and you have a policy under the National Flood Insurance program, take pictures of the water line. Hopefully you took pictures when the water was still in there that will help grease the skids for you to be able to submit your claims and be made whole as soon as humanly possible. We're looking, and we'll have an announcement very soon to have disaster recovery centers set up certainly in and Lee County and in Charlotte and likely in many other counties and is part of that effort. You can go. You don't need to go in for FEMA. You can do a lot of this online. But if you have questions if you're not getting what you need to be the people there to assist you will also have folks from the state of Florida there and then Jimmy Petronas that CFO for the state of Florida is setting up insurance villages. So people can come in and meet with the carriers and make their claims. It's interesting. I just looking around the state probably suffered more flood damaged and wind damage. You looking like a Charlotte County? They didn't get the storm surge They anticipated they did get wind damage. You did obviously get wind damage and lead. But I think if you look at some of the communities, you just had a rising water, and that was really the thing that was most devastating because you can have a home that can be they can withstand hurricane winds. Maybe there'll be sun damage. Patch it up. When you got a torrent of water coming in, there's really nothing that you can do about that, so that's going to require a lot of flood claims being filed. People are gonna have to rehab that and hopefully get their their proceeds from the from the flood program very, very quickly, really proud of the first lady for her efforts, Spearheading www dot florida disaster fund dot org. They launched this basically the day after the storm. And they've already raised more than $20 million to help relief efforts for people and obviously, a lot of that is going to be done right here in the state of Florida, and so we're really excited about being able to help folks in a variety of ways. I was talking to some of the motorists coming in questions for me about FEMA, like FEMA told me I couldn't get this last time or whatever. FEMA is, you know it's a bureaucracy and they're going to go buy whatever those regulations are, so you may have needs that don't fit into one of their wickets. So Florida disaster fund dot org Working with these private groups can help meet needs of people that would not be covered by FEMA, So it's an important complement to what the state and every in these communities are doing overall. Also people have wanted to come in and pitch in help, and there's ways to do that. If you go to www dot volunteer florida .org. You can sign up for different volunteer opportunities, and I know people would love to have. There's been a great outpouring of support community and I've seen a lot of resilience in this community of people that want to pick themselves up. And they want to get their communities back on their feet, and we really appreciate that spirit. And as I've said throughout the whole thing of this, you know, there comes a time when this is not interested the TV cameras anymore, but we understand the needs will persist long after the cameras are gone and will be here and we'll be helping every step of the way. Okay Jim Eifert is going to talk about some of the efforts that the guard is doing. I'm bringing with me, Brigadier General Sean Bell. Yet who is the joint task Force? Florida commander. He's been the command and control center node up in camp landing North Florida , controlling all of the resources throughout the state, as obviously Lee County, Collier and Charlotte have become a center of significant concern. We are continuing to migrate more forces down here we currently have about 1200, Florida National Guardsmen will probably be included increasing that in the coming days. Two more than 2000. Again just to get that presence in the streets. Make sure that the there are no looting or crime waves that could be part of the natural disaster and then also assisting with the additional creation and expansion of the pods that we currently these points of distribution like you see behind us, so I'm immensely proud of the guardsmen. Who stepped up at a moment's notice to be a part of this, uh of this effort, and I'll pass it over to Sean if he has any other words. As a general mentioned in the government and augment some of their outstanding comments. We look forward to continue to bride service to our community. These are your community soldiers each and everyone comes from a community within Florida. They're proud to serve their fellow Floridian. So with that, I'll turn it back over to the government. Alright, seesaw. Thank you, sir. You have to assess lithographs, Chairman Lee County Commission first I'd like to thank the governor and the state and federal agencies working with us. This is the plan has been in place for a year. You're seeing it all come together. We're one team here. We're all working together again. Also, I think my colleagues Commissioner Hammond Commissioner Pandeli Casper. Mike Greenwell, commissioner Kevin Wayne. We've been working together. The county's put this plan together for last year, preparing for this worst case center and we've seen that happen here today is a perfect example but planning to come together eight pods open today throughout Lake County to provide water, ice and food to our residents here in the county, so make sure you please follow us on our social media. Culture war one for any more information again. My main concern right now, everybody to stay patient, you know, but the governor says Day three after the hurricane, most important thing right now is stay patient and work with their agencies here locally. Thank you, Governor and all your stuff. Thank you. Okay. Dane Eagle. I want to thank the governor for his leadership. Being from Southwest Florida courses has been incredibly hard to watch from afar, obviously not as hard to deal with it and go through with it. But I've got a mother in malice, a aisles and family in Cape Coral, Fort Myers and we were telling them early on evacuate, and they're thinking we've been through Charlie. We've been through Irma, this is going to be fine. And obviously this was different. This was a water event. And sure enough, they got flooding their safe. Thank God another families. They're dealing with worse but the rest we can rebuild. And that's where DL comes in. And thanks for the governor's leadership. We've been activated since we knew the storm was going to be coming upon us. We've been in the U. C daily working with our business partners across the state, and they've been activated with US public's Lowe's WalMart 80 t u Haul uber You name it. They've all been putting their best foot forward to help people and we're helping them in real time looking at supplies, looking at closures, making sure people can open and do what they need to do, and we're going to continue doing that so that people have what they need. Two things I want to leave behind today, thanks to the governor's leadership. One, um, businesses . They're going to be looking. What's next? I know right now. It's recovery, and now it's going to be. How do we get back up on our feet? I need every business out there and spread the word. Please go to Florida. Disaster B I z Florida disaster dot biz. We're doing a simple survey. We need to collect information so we can decide what to do next. The details of that survey are going to help us dig in and work with our federal partners. And, of course, our resources at the state. Thanks for the governor to make sure we can help people get back on their feet. So please do that today or in the coming days as soon as you can. Florida disaster dot b. I Z. I can't stress that enough. Number two Just moments ago, the governor announced that disaster unemployment assistance is available to all who need it if you are in a FEMA declared zone , Lee County Charlotte, call your another inland counties that you find those on Florida jobs dot org and you're affected by the storm. You may be eligible for unemployment assistance, so Florida jobs dot org. You can go on there today and start applying to see if you're eligible for unemployment assistance. Obviously a lot of people. There's no businesses operating a lot of people in real estate. Construction uber gig economy, You name it. Go on there. We want to be able to help. We've been working hard to make sure people get back on their feet. This is an event of no fault of their own, and we're going to step in to help and make sure that people are as whole as can be so. Florida disaster dot biz for businesses for the jobs .org for unemployment assistance and will be in the communities in the coming days to assist as well. I want to thank all the locals for their work. And thank the governor for his leadership. Okay And We have the President Florida Power and light, Eric slide. I'm gonna ask him to come say give an update on their efforts. And you know, I told them before you came. You and I had talked. You've offered support for the electrical co ops as well. If you look at what happened in Lee, the places that were the hardest hit, I think are buying large service Not by f p l but but by the by the cooperative and so There may be a need for infrastructure and some things like that. This is something that we were concerned about because of supply chain and Eric and some of his other peer companies said, You know, we've got we've got infrastructure. We have the ability to provide support if it came to that, and so that we may be in that situation, you want to come up. Thank you, governor , the governor said. This is a team effort and getting the power back on for all of Florida is a team effort and we're going to be working with everybody to do so. I'm pleased to report governor that right now at FTL. We are two thirds restored. We have 1 2.5, a million customers restored and about 650,000 customers that have yet to be restored. With that in mind. We are continuing around the clock operations to get everybody up. We have over 21,000 people in the field, working around the clock staging out of 30 different sites. We are cleaning up and getting power on it. Counties across the state and as soon as the county is, is up and restored, we're collapsing those resources in the southwest Florida and supplementing the thousands we already have right here in southwest Florida with even more We will work with all of the electric providers, whether cooperatives, municipal electrics, other investor owned utilities, it's a hallmark of what this industry does is to come together to get the power back on for people as quickly and as safely as possible. Part of this is being able to get so many people up so quickly as a testament to the investment and the support we've had. From our legislature from the governor from other leaders in the state about being able to invest in the resiliency of the infrastructure that FTL we have 8000 miles of transmission in our system, and we did not lose one single transmission structure to this monster storm , Nor did we lose any generation that was not able to provide power. That makes a huge difference to being able to get people up quickly. That's not to say that the distribution system which many of you have seen pictures along the coast was not devastated by the storm. We will be rebuilding parts of that. But in most parts, we are restoring the power rather than rebuilding the power, and that's because of the support we've had over years to invest in, hardening our system with concrete and steel and underground and governor. Thank you for that. It's made a huge difference for all Floridians today to have that kind of investment. So there's never been this many people restored so quickly because we're not even 48 hours after the storm, leaving the state of Florida and you've been through a lot of these storms. I mean, I think this has got to be far and away the quickest right. That's correct. At least for Mpl. I can speak to that Hurricane Irma, which was also a monster storm that hit not too far from here, as you recall was was at the time, the fastest restoration in the history of the United States and F Pl And we are actually beating that at this point, so this will be the fastest restoration of number of customers that I'm aware of in the country, and that's again a testament to the investments have been made as well as the Tens of thousands of workers who have come from 30 states to help and we do appreciate all the help and support as well. Great. Well, thank you, sir. Okay. Have any questions? Watching this at this way, and only county officials made the fall to ask. Functional back point feel, that's what's done building. Absolutely They were following the data and you remember people were looking initially at the Panhandle on Sunday, Then Monday came and people were thinking maybe north of Tampa Bay. When we went to bed Monday night, people are saying this is a direct hit on Tampa Bay. Worst case scenario for the state as that track started to shift south in the computer models the next morning. They called for the evacuation. They open their shelters, and they responded very quickly to the data. But at the end of the day, Fort Myers and Naples on Sunday I think of the 11 A.m. advisory 72 hours out. They weren't even in the cone. So that's just the reality. So they followed it very closely. I know Kevin Guthrie is in touch with all the directors locally, working on kind of what we're seeing, with different modeling, and at the end of the day, a storm that's going to hit 150 Miles north. The view is something that I said there would be impacts all across the Gulf Coast, and I said Sunday, even if it goes to North Florida is a big storm. You can see impacts in Naples and some of those areas, but that's a different type of impact. And what we ended up seeing, and so I think that they work very quickly provide people shelter provide people the opportunity to do that, and I know many of them did take them up. But I would also just point out You had people evacuating from Tampa to Southwest Florida . I mean, that happened because of how they were following the track of the storm. YEP Insurance when people obviously running Do you have any information? So what we've done on the water the we They identified the break. I think the day after the storm, they requested the state enlist federal support. So we got the Army Corps of Engineers. I think that they made the request of like three in the morning. On Thursday, Army Corps was here from Jacksonville Thursday afternoon. That's a six hour drive under good conditions as you guys know. So they're they're they're working with not just the county water utility, but some of them the other municipal utilities to be able to do that. That and what I and we have National guard engineers available to help the core. If they need it, And I know general offered has a lot of folks there. So at the end of the day troubleshooting that is really significant. Because once you get that going, you know everything else can really come to life. Even some of the power you can do the generators, But you need that running water just for basic sanitation. So we're happy that the Army Corps responded very quickly that they're on it, diagnosing it, hopefully offering a solution as soon as possible. You know the fuel as I mentioned in my comment there Well available. It's coming in from the ports, the gas stations that have power or generators typically are offering gas. I think there's just a lot of gas stations that are offline from that. And so the pumps aren't going to work if you don't have the electricity, so I think it's probably more of a power issue that it is a fuel supply issue. And now that all our ports are open, you're going to see more fuel coming in. In addition to all the fuel we have staged, and we've got more fuel staged here, and we've probably ever had for a storm before. Okay we'll be back tomorrow. We'll see you guys, All right, Let us know what else we can do. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you silly. It's not even.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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