Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses response to Florida power outages, flood damage

Gov. Ron DeSantis gave an update in Fort Myers Saturday afternoon on assisting Florida residents after Hurricane Ian.

Over 1,100 rescues were performed as of 7 a.m. Saturday morning, and crews are continuing search and rescue efforts.

DeSantis said utility crews are also actively working to restore power for those who experienced power outages.

“Forty-eight hours after the storm leaving, up to over 54% of all people who had lost power have power back,” DeSantis said.

He also said to help with connectivity problems in offline communities in southwest Florida, SpaceX is planning to deploy Starlink satellites.

“We’re working with SpaceX, and we are expecting 120 additional large Starlink units to deploy to southwest Florida,” DeSantis said.

Some will be delivered to Lee County, Charlotte County and surrounding counties, according to DeSantis.

“As of right now, you’ve got about 73% of Lee County without power and 77% of Charlotte County without power. The county that has the most without power is currently Hardee County, and that is 88% without power,” DeSantis said.

Verizon has deployed drones to help with recovery efforts and assess the damage.

FDOT is continuing to inspect roadways and bridges to ensure their safety before opening them up to drivers, and over 1,300 FDOT team members have been sent out.

According to DeSantis, FDOT closed a 12-mile stretch of I-75 as they continue to monitor the flood impact.

Fuel has been brought to southwest Florida during the recovery efforts.

“We have moved 1.6 million gallons of fuel into southwest Florida to support different spots,” DeSantis said. “All major ports are now open for fueling, and the fuel is going to be coming in.”

The Florida Disaster Fund was established for financially assisting communties recovering from the hurricane.

Find information on the Florida Disaster Fund on the website.

DeSantis said FEMA assistance is additionally available for Florida residents and at least 87,000 people have registered for FEMA so far.

To apply for FEMA assistance, visit here.

For emergency service requests, Florida residents can fill out this form.

Good Housekeeping

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