Gov. Scott Issues Updates on Continued Hurricane Irma Response Efforts
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Today, September 12th, 2017, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 email@example.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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.