Gov. Scott Releases Updates on Hurricane Michael Recovery in Gulf County, TSA approved for Two More Counties

10/22/2018

Gov. Scott Releases Updates on Hurricane Michael Recovery in Gulf County, TSA approved for Two More Counties

~TSA approved for Gulf and Jackson counties today~

Today, FEMA Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) was approved for families in Gulf County following a request from Governor Rick Scott. TSA provides FEMA-funded lodging in hotels and motels for eligible disaster survivors who are unable to return home for an extended period due to disaster-related damages. FEMA is currently notifying eligible families in Gulf County of their sheltering options under TSA. Families in Gulf County looking to confirm their TSA eligibility should call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). You can also visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov for more information on TSA and to find participating hotels and motels. This program has also been approved for Bay and Jackson counties.

Also today, Governor Scott is visiting the Gulf County Emergency Operations Center and has been in constant communication with local officials and emergency management in Gulf County following the impact of Hurricane Michael. The following information has been reported to the State Emergency Response Team and includes specific actions the state has taken to aid the residents of Gulf County impacted by Hurricane Michael.

FEMA Individual Assistance and Public Assistance was approved October 11. Federal re-employment assistance is also now available for individuals in Gulf County.

FEMA has dispatched teams of representatives to assist residents with applications and registrations for individual assistance in areas affected by Hurricane Michael.

FOOD AND WATER

  • There are two points of distribution for food and water open in Gulf County:.
    • 2201 Centennial Ave Port St Joe, FL 32456
    • Wewahitchka High School at 1 Gator Cir, Wewahitchka, FL 32465
  • A logistics specialist has been deployed from the State Emergency Operations Center.

FUEL

  • There is a fueling station set up for first responders and utility crews to rapidly refuel so they can continue working.

COMMUNICATIONS

  • Currently, 65.22% percent of cellular service coverage has been restored, up more than 4 percentage points from yesterday. This does not include mobile cellular assets augmenting the network.

POWER RESTORATION

  • Five push crews were deployed to assist utilities that serve Gulf County.
  • 150 generators were sent to Gulf County.
  • Current power outage as of 12:00 p.m. is 3,062 or 28%, a 71% improvement since Hurricane Michael impacted Gulf County.

SHELTERS

  • Currently two shelters are open:
    • Honeyville Community Center at 240 Honeyville Park Road, Wewahitchka.
    • Port St. Joe Elementary at 2201 Long Avenue, Port St. Joe.
  • Visit https://www.floridadisaster.org/shelter-status/ to find information on shelters in your area. This site is being updated as shelters open throughout the day.

MILITARY SUPPORT

  • There are currently 118 National Guard troops deployed to Gulf County.
  • The National Guard has dispatched a communications support package to Gulf County.

LAW ENFORCEMENT

  • More than 81 law enforcement officers have been deployed to Gulf County.
  • FWC officers continue performing search and rescue, welfare checks, reconnaissance, public safety missions and debris removal assistance in Gulf County.
  • DHSMV’s Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobiles are deploying a unit to Gulf County on October 23, 2018, to assist customers impacted by the storm. The FLOW unit will be located at 151 North 3rd Street, Wewahitchka, FL 32465 open from 9am to 4pm CDT.
  • The Florida Highway Patrol is providing numerous troopers for traffic control and shelter security within the county.
  • The Florida Highway Patrol has conducted various escorts for critical supplies and emergency response.
  • FDLE teams are assisting local law enforcement in Gulf County.

TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS

  • All state roads in Gulf County are open. US 98 has opened in both directions in Gulf County.
  • FDOT has completed all state bridge inspections and all state bridges are open in Gulf County.

PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL

  • The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) is in contact with healthcare facilities to ensure they have the resources they need.
  • Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf is fully operational and has power.
  • Assisted living facility Our Home at Beacon Hill LLC, and nursing home Cross Shores Care Center have both been completely evacuated and remain closed.
  • The Agency for Persons with Disability’s William J. Rish Recreational Park in Gulf County remains closed.
  • Facilities report their evacuation status to the Agency through the Emergency Status System. An updated evacuation report can be found on the AHCA twitter page: https://twitter.com/AHCA_FL
  • Twenty ambulances and one paratransit vehicle have have been deployed to Gulf County.
  • There are currently 5 Active Boil Water Notices in Gulf County. Visit the DOH boil water notice webpage for more information –  http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/drinking-water/boil-water-notices.html.
  • APD’s William J. Rish Recreational Park in Gulf County remains closed.
  • DCF is providing additional SNAP benefits for customers in Gulf County. These benefits are now in the customer’s accounts and accessible on their EBT cards. For more information, click HERE.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

  • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has activated and is closely monitoring StormTracker, a reporting tool for water and waste water facilities to provide updates on their operational status.
  • Hazardous Area Response Teams (HART) completed hazardous waste facility assessments in Gulf County.
  • DEP staff from the State Emergency Operations Center have conducted water testing in the county.
  • Beach Surveys have been completed in Gulf County.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard, in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has completed fly overs to assess coastal areas.
  • An online tool for the public to report the location of storm debris in waterways has been deployed. 461 reports of debris have been received.
  • 235 Disaster Debris Management Sites have been pre-authorized for the counties addressed by the Governor’s Executive Order, with 10 in Gulf County. An additional 10 sites have been authorized in Gulf County.
  • Florida State Parks strike teams are on site to clear debris and assist individuals in impacted state parks. T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park and Constitution Convention Museum State Park in Gulf County remain closed at this time.

BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY    

  • The Florida SBDC Network and the U.S. Small Business Administration have opened Business Recovery Centers (BRCs) to assist small businesses impacted by Hurricane Michael. Small businesses can get assistance applying for state and federal business disaster loans. A Business Recovery Center is now open in Gulf County at the Gulf Franklin Center of GCSC 3800 Garrison Ave, Port St. Joe Florida 33456. It is scheduled to operate Monday-Friday from 9 am to 6 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm.
  • The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has launched the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to provide short-term, interest-free loans to affects businesses at www.floridadisasterloan.org.
  • Disaster cleanup and other related job openings are now available at http://disasterrecovery.employflorida.com for businesses to post job openings and for individuals to find job opportunities.
  • DEO has opened the Business Damage Assessment Survey for businesses impacted by Hurricane Michael. Businesses with damage should complete the survey at https://www.floridadisaster.biz/BusinessDamageAssessments.
  • Businesses can also visit FloridaDisaster.biz to view tips for assessing storm damage and to register to receive updates on storm recovery.

EDUCATION

  • The Florida Department of Education is in contact with school districts, state colleges and universities for updates and to determine their needs and provide assistance.
  • The Department is supporting Gulf County’s shelter operations at Port Saint Joe Elementary School.
  • The Department is coordinating with utility providers to prioritize schools and college campuses for power restoration.
  • Gulf County schools reopened Friday, October 19, for staff and will reopen tomorrow, Tuesday, October 23, for students.
  • Gulf Coast State College, which serves Gulf County, is closed until further notice. Florida College System Chancellor Madeline Pumariega visited the college last week and met with college leaders to receive a damage update and offer support.
  • FDOE is posting up-to-date information regarding closures and meeting cancellations at http://www.fldoe.org/hurricaneinfo.

VOLUNTEER EFFORTS

  • An ESF-15 representative deployed from the State Emergency Operations Center to Gulf County. The representative is actively mobilizing volunteers and coordinating incoming donations.
  • At Governor Scott’s direction, Volunteer Florida has activated the Florida Disaster Fund, the State of Florida’s official private fund established to assist Florida’s communities as they respond to and recover during times of emergency or disaster. In partnership with the public sector, private sector and other non-governmental organizations, the Florida Disaster Fund supports response and recovery activities. To donate, visit, www.volunteerflorida.org/donatefdf/.

STATE EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTER/ CONTACTS

  • The State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) contact number is 1-800-342-3557.
  • The State Emergency Operations Center Media Line: 850-921-0217.
  • Follow @FLSert or @FLGovScott on Twitter for live updates on Hurricane Michael.
  • Visit http://www.floridadisaster.org/info to find information on shelters, road closures, and evacuation routes.
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2018
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