State Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is praising Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recommitment to the Panhandle via more than $3.1 million in awards amid the third anniversary of Hurricane Michael.
“Three years ago, Hurricane Michael devastated my hometown of Panama City and the Florida Panhandle when it made landfall as a massive Category 5 storm,” Patronis said in a statement. “I’m thankful that Gov. DeSantis was on the ground in Bay County his first full day in office to stand alongside the men and women of Northwest Florida and let our communities know they would not face recovery alone.”
Michael made landfall at Mexico Beach on Oct. 10, 2018, as a category 5 hurricane, causing an estimated $25 billion in damage and killing dozens.
Speaking in Southport on Friday, DeSantis announced more than $3.1 million in awards for 12 projects in the Panhandle through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s Rebuild Florida Hazard Mitigation Grant Match Program. In total, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has allocated $417 million in mitigation funds for Hurricane Michael.
“The destruction was unfathomable and heartbreaking, with many families losing what they had worked a lifetime to achieve. This storm was so significant that according to OIR, more than $8.5 billion in insurance claims have been paid,” Patronis said in a statement.
“I want to remind Floridians that hurricane season lasts through Nov. 30 and I encourage everyone to stay on guard and ensure you’re prepared before the next storm takes aim at our state,” Patronis continued. “Thank you to Gov. DeSantis for his unwavering support of our hardworking Panhandle communities impacted by this historic storm.”
The funds will be divided in the following ways:
— Bay County will receive $99,477 to provide backup power sources at four emergency communications towers across the county.
— Bay County will receive $498,744 to install a potable water main and stopgaps to better protect the county’s water supply during disaster events.
— Bay County will receive $50,438 to install a permanent generator at the Bay County Sheriff’s Office to provide electricity during power outages.
— Bay County will receive $57,764 to install a permanent generator at the Bay County Sheriff’s Office Jail to provide electricity during power outages.
— Bay County will receive $1,111,500 to relocate an aerial water line underground to protect the potable water system from wind damage and debris during a disaster event.
— Bay County will receive $563,068 to construct a safe room at the Bay County Sheriff’s Office Jail to provide shelter for up to 125 staff members following an emergency event.
— Bay County will receive $282,006 to construct a potable water line to provide a reliable potable water source for the Bay County Emergency Operations Center, which lost access to potable water for 11 days following Hurricane Michael.
— City of Chattahoochee will receive $239,228 to install permanent generators at multiple lift stations, a water well, and the wastewater treatment plant to allow these critical facilities to maintain services during power outages.
— Talquin Electric Cooperative will receive $49,273 to provide backup power sources at critical water pumps and sewer facilities serving vulnerable communities in Gadsden County.
— Talquin Electric Cooperative will receive $134,250 to provide backup power sources at four critical potable water pumps and sewer facilities that serve multiple communities in Leon County.
— Wakulla County will receive $40,589 to install a permanent generator at the Wakulla County Community Center to provide electricity during the center’s function as a post-event shelter following disasters.
— Wakulla County will receive $29,561 to install a permanent generator at the Wakulla Sheriff’s Office Annex to provide electricity during power outages.