Tallahassee, FL (STL.News) Today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has awarded $150.9 million to Bay County and $20 million to Mexico Beach to help the communities recover from the impact of Hurricane Michael. Specifically, these funds will reimburse Mexico Beach for ongoing debris removal efforts and Bay County for the removal of wet and vegetative debris. With today’s announcement, FDEM has now awarded more than $400 million to Northwest Florida as it recovers from Hurricane Michael.
“On my very first full day in office I went to Northwest Florida and made a commitment that this administration will not waver in its dedication to making sure this community completely rebuilds,” said Governor DeSantis. “Since that day, we’ve received historic commitments from the Trump Administration in our recovery efforts, and we’ve taken steps to change policies to provide funding to these communities quicker than ever before. I am thankful to President Trump, to FDEM and to the many advocates who have made today’s announcement possible. I look forward to continuing our commitment and ensuring every single area impacted by Hurricane Michael rebuilds stronger than before.”
“The people of Northwest Florida have suffered tremendously from Hurricane Michael, which is why today’s announcement is so important,” said FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz. “I want to thank Governor DeSantis for his continued support. Even while the national media has turned the page on Hurricane Michael’s impact, FDEM has not forgotten and continues to live up to the Governor’s day-one commitment that we would reimburse faster than ever before. What matters most are the families who were impacted by this storm and providing the necessary resources so that they can build their community back. Today, we’re focusing on the resilient people of Northwest Florida and I’m extremely proud of that.”
In January, FDEM announced that, under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, the division was putting in place an expedited process to accelerate funding for Northwest Florida communities impacted by Hurricane Michael. Activating this process distributes funds to affected communities more quickly by providing 50 percent of the estimated project costs upfront and requiring less initial review. Additionally, because of the historic damage and financing that local governments have had to bear, FDEM made additional changes so that more money can be distributed even faster.
In January, Governor DeSantis announced that President Donald Trump granted his request for 45 days of 100 percent federal cost-share for Hurricane Michael debris removal and emergency protective measures. Prior to Governor DeSantis securing this commitment, the federal government had only granted 5 days of 100 percent cost share. For more on that announcement, click HERE. In April, Governor DeSantis requested and received a commitment from President Trump to increase the federal cost-share for Hurricane Michael recovery from 75 percent to 90 percent.