Florida experienced two hurricanes in six weeks – Category 4 Hurricane Ian on September 28th and Category 1 Hurricane Nicole, which made landfall on November 9th. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved Governor DeSantis’ Hurricane Nicole emergency declaration for 60 counties and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. A crisis clean-up line (1-800-451-1954) is available until November 25th for those needing assistance with cutting fallen trees, removing drywall or flooring, roof tarping and mold mitigation. Already 10,000 miles of state roadways have been cleared in the east coast counties impacted by Hurricane Nicole.
- FEMA/FLORIDA CLEAN-UP PARTNERSHIP The Federal Emergency Management Agency is partnering with the state for the first time ever to expedite debris removal on private and commercial properties in areas that were hit the hardest by Hurricane Ian. The new program utilizes satellite imagery to identify heavy debris areas. Residents can request clean-up for displaced and abandoned property, including cars, boats and trailers. Lee County set a new record with the removal of two million cubic yards of debris in one month.
- CLAIMS The National Flood Insurance Program paid more than $351 million for 44,000 claims, including $170 in advance payments to policyholders who sustained damage from Hurricane Ian.
- PROPERTY TAX PAYMENT DELAY The Governor signed an executive order to extend the property tax deadline for communities impacted by Hurricane Ian. And, business tax filing deadlines for sales and use tax, re-employment tax and other taxes have been extended to November 23rd for Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee, and Sarasota counties.
- HOSPITALITY GRANTS Financial assistance is being offered to hospitality industry businesses impacted by Ian in the form of $10,000 grants by the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. Up to 33 percent of the relief aid must be distributed to employees for financial assistance, such as housing, car payments and tuition.
- UTILTY COST RECOVERY REQUEST Cost recovery requests were made by utility company Florida Power and Light in the amount of one billion dollars for their efforts to restore power to customers impacted by Hurricane Ian.