DeSantis Commemorates Five Years Since Hurricane Irma, Warns Floridians to Prepare for Peak Hurricane Season

By Lydia Nusbaum, Florida's Voice

September 9, 2022 Updated 3:15 PM ET

Gov. Ron DeSantis, Disaster Recovery and Affordable Housing Announcement, June 6, 2019.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, Disaster Recovery and Affordable Housing Announcement, June 6, 2019.

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – The day before Hurricane Irma’s 5th anniversary, Gov. Ron DeSantis encouraged Floridians to prepare for the peak of hurricane season.

“Hurricanes can destroy people’s homes and businesses in an instant, which is why we’ve prioritized helping Florida’s communities rebuild stronger in the aftermath of disasters,” said DeSantis said. “On the anniversary of Hurricane Irma, I’m proud of the work that we’ve accomplished to improve the resiliency of our communities and equip them to face future storms.”

In 2017, Hurricane Irma caused catastrophic damage and became the fifth-costliest hurricane to hit the mainland United States, and the costliest storm to hit Florida. It made landfall near Cudjoe Key, Florida as a Category 4 storm and moved to Marco Island.

About 6.8 million people were told to evacuate and about 6.7 million homes and businesses in Florida did not have power immediately after the storm’s landfall.

“Under Governor DeSantis’ strong leadership, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s Rebuild Florida program continues to support Hurricane Irma long-term recovery efforts, helping impacted communities from coast to coast rebuild and become more resilient against future storms,” said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle.

“Since Hurricane Irma made landfall, DEO has awarded $430 million to more than 4,100 Florida homeowners and an additional $240 million to impacted communities, and all Rebuild Florida’s Hurricane Irma programs are slated to be completed on time by August 2023.”

The Florida Division of Emergency Management has continued to support long-term recovery projects from those communities affected by Irma. Since 2018, Emergency Management has distributed $7.6 billion in critical disaster recovery funding.

The Division encourages residents to create a disaster plan in case of a storm, keep gas tanks at least half full, and understand the houses’ storm capacity.

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