Ron DeSantis Announces $12 Million to Help Northwest Florida Recover From Hurricane Michael

Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis visited rural areas of Northwest Florida and held press conferences in Washington and Holmes Counties to announce $12 million for communities impacted by Hurricane Michael. These funds cover the local match portion of mitigation awards to support disaster readiness and support recovery efforts. DeSantis announced funding across 9 rural counties including Washington, Holmes, Gulf, Bay and Jackson Counties.

“Today, I was grateful for the opportunity to award $12 million across the Panhandle to continue supporting the continuing recovery and community resiliency efforts,” said DeSantis. “We will continue to look for ways to assist our rural communities rebuild stronger than before and we recognize that a storm of the magnitude of Hurricane Michael requires a long-term commitment.”

In Washington County, DeSantis announced that more than $8.8 million has been awarded for 32 projects in seven different counties through the Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Rebuild Florida Hazard Mitigation Grant Match Program. The program provides the 25 percent funding match that communities need in order to receive FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Funds. Without the DEO Hazard Mitigation Grant Match Program, many of the small Panhandle cities would not be able to afford the match funding needed.

“On his first official day in office, Governor Ron DeSantis was on the ground in the Florida Panhandle surveying the damage caused by Hurricane Michael and committing vital resources to help our communities recover from this historic storm,” said state CFO Jimmy Patronis. “When Michael made landfall as a Category 5 storm, 160 mile per hour winds and rain devastated towns along the coast and in rural parts of the state causing billions of dollars of damage. I’m proud that now over three years later, the Governor has not forgotten about the families and businesses impacted by this massive storm and continues to provide the assistance needed to aid in rebuilding the Panhandle. Thank you to Governor DeSantis and DEO Secretary Dane Eagle for their unwavering support of Hurricane Michael recovery.”

“I proudly stood with Governor DeSantis on the third anniversary of Hurricane Michael to announce the initial round of these awarded funds to the Panhandle, and today we are proud to do more,” said Sec. Dane Eagle of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, the Department continues to support communities impacted by Hurricane Michael and help them eliminate long-term risks from any future disasters.”

“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership and through our partnership with DEO, we’ve made great strides in rebuilding Florida’s Panhandle since Hurricane Michael,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie. “These mitigation projects play a critical role in creating resilient communities and lessening the impacts of future disasters. While we still have a lot of work to do, today’s announcements are great progress toward long-term recovery efforts in our Northwest Florida communities and ensuring they’re better prepared for future storms.”

DEO is awarding the following communities funding through the Rebuild Florida Hazard Mitigation Grant Match Program:

Town of Alford ($102,615) – stabilize roadsides and ditches to mitigate future flooding.

Town of Altha ($56,747) – install a permanent generator to maintain water well power during outages.

Bay County ($1,003,626) – harden and improve backup power supply and surge protection at the Williams Bayou Pumping Station.

Bay County ($60,990) – acquire and demolish a flood prone residential property to allow for the construction of a stormwater retention pond.

Bay County ($45,675) – provide backup power sources to the fuel pumps supporting the Bay County 9th Street Fuel Island facility.

Bay County ($675,000) – install diesel powered bypasses at 36 lift stations to keep them operational during power outages and prevent sewage backup and overflow.

Bay County ($339,822) – harden fire stations by replacing several roll up doors and windows with hurricane-grade roll up doors and windows.

Bay County ($45,875) – install a permanent generator at the Majette Yard Fuel Island to maintain power during a disaster.

Gulf County ($1,070,775) – protect a critical transportation route from flooding by ensuring a safe evacuation route.

Jackson County ($233,550) – construct a stormwater retention area to collect and drain stormwater and repave Pooser Road to mitigate future flooding.

Jackson County ($1,000,345) – install permanent generators at 12 offsite medical facilities.

City of Blountstown ($29,967) – install permanent generators at their public works facilities.

City of Lynn Haven ($35,197) – improve the drainage system to reduce recurrent localized flooding of the Indiana Avenue area and prevent repetitive road closures and damages.

City of Lynn Haven ($117,290) – replace the roadside ditch in the Wyoming Avenue area to mitigate future flooding to properties and roads.

City of Lynn Haven ($64,226) – install larger culverts and upstream and downstream channels to improve drainage and mitigate future flooding.

City of Lynn Haven ($71,221) – replace roadside drainage and connect it to existing drainage channels to mitigate future flooding.

City of Lynn Haven ($428,119) – replace drainage and pipe systems to prevent repetitive property damage due to flooding.

City of Lynn Haven ($325,562) – increase the outfall pipe size along 11th Street to increase discharge capacity and reduce the risk of flooding.

City of Lynn Haven ($170,604) – increase resiliency of the city’s fire station by installing hurricane resistant doors, windows, overhead doors, and louvers.

City of Marianna ($227,295) – install a permanent generator at the Marianna Health and Rehabilitation Center to allow the facility to continue care for its senior citizens during power outages.

City of Midway ($33,170) – install multiple permanent generators to provide a source of backup power at several locations.

City of Panama City ($908,009) – construct a new safe room with a generator to protect first responders and allow for timely responses to emergencies following a disaster event.

City of Panama City ($225,610) – construct a safe room with a permanent generator to protect the City’s utility staff from future disasters.

City of Panama City ($167,248) – Replace windows and doors with impact resistant glass and hurricane resistant doors at three fire stations.

Town of Greensboro ($58,516) – install generators at three water wells and the fire station to maintain operation during power outages.

Town of Sneads ($47,713) – install generators at two wells to maintain the ability to provide potable water during power outages.

Town of Sneads ($125,841) – install permanent generators to keep the town’s lift stations operational in the event of a power outage.

City of Springfield ($62,500) – install a bypass pump at Lift Station 16 to maintain the flow of wastewater during a loss of power and prevent sewer overflows.

City of Springfield ($62,500) – install a bypass pump at Lift Station 19 to maintain the flow of wastewater during a loss of power and prevent sewer overflows.

City of Springfield ($62,500) – install a bypass pump at Lift Station 29 to maintain the flow of wastewater during a loss of power and prevent sewer overflows.

City of Tallahassee ($125,000) – install a permanent generator at Jack McLean Community Center to allow the facility to operate as a shelter for disaster events.

Washington County ($912,334) – acquire, demolish, and convert 19 residential properties in flood-prone areas to greenspace to mitigate recurrent flood losses.

In Holmes County, DeSantis announced that DEO will be awarding $3.2 million to the Capital Area Community Action Agency and the Tri-County Community Council through the Community Services Block Grant Disaster Relief Supplemental Funding. This funding will enable these organizations to support personal recovery efforts of low-income residents impacted by Hurricane Michael. These efforts include providing temporary housing, transportation, moving services, HVAC installations, furniture replacement and other services. Additionally,DeSantis directed FDEM to approve Holmes County’s request for a waiver of the local match requirements for federal assistance related to Hurricane Sally, saving the county millions of dollars as they move forward with projects.

The Capital Area Community Action Agency will provide these services for Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Leon, Liberty, Taylor, and Wakulla Counties. The Tri-County Community Council will provide services for Bay, Holmes, Jackson, and Washington Counties.

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