The entire Florida congressional delegation called upon President Joe Biden to declare a major disaster for all Florida counties.
U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott lead a letter signed by all 26 sitting House members representing Florida. It supports a request from Gov. Ron DeSantis for the President to issue a declaration that covers all of Florida.
“We write in support of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ request for a Major Disaster Declaration due to Hurricane Ian, which is currently causing catastrophic conditions as a Category 4 major hurricane,” the letter reads.
“Hurricane Ian’s historic size, sustained winds and dangerously slow pace, which stand to affect virtually the entire state, will produce significant flooding, massive power outages and widespread damage throughout Florida. As such, we request that you promptly approve Governor DeSantis’ request for a Major Disaster Declaration for all of Florida’s 67 counties.”
Hurricane Ian made landfall around 3:05 p.m. in Captiva by Cayo Costa in Lee County. The National Hurricane Center measured sustained winds of 150 miles per hour, making it a powerful Category 4 hurricane.
In advance of the storm reaching Florida, Biden approved an initial request from DeSantis to declare a state of emergency in 24 Florida counties most at risk. That guarantees federal reimbursements through FEMA for at least 75% of costs associated with storm response.
The eye of the storm continues to move across the state and is not expected to leave the shore on Florida’s east coast until Thursday.
“This historic hurricane will continue to impact the state for some time, and the full extent of damage will not be known for days,” the letter reads. “However, approving this declaration request will allow Floridians to be better prepared for the recovery phase. As such, we urge you to approve the State of Florida’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration, which will provide the assistance necessary for our constituents to recover and rebuild.
“Floridians are incredibly resilient, and with cooperation at all levels of government, we will rebuild stronger than ever. Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.”