FEMA

WLRN

There is assistance available to homeowners and business owners who are still recovering from Hurricane Irma damage. We spoke with John Mills of FEMA and Richard Daigle of the SBA on Sundial to answer listener questions about how to get that assistance.

Juan Luis Martinez / AP

Seven weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the U.S. territory is still struggling to restore power, water and other basic needs. Things only got more muddled on Friday with the sudden resignation of the island’s emergency management director.

AP

WASHINGTON — The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency says there was “a lot wrong” with a $300 million no-bid contract awarded to a tiny Montana company to aid Puerto Rico.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long tells Congress that FEMA officials only learned about the contract awarded to Whitefish Energy Holdings after it had been signed by the board of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.

The head of the troubled utility said Sunday he would seek to cancel the contract, amid scrutiny from multiple federal and congressional investigations.

Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Friday it’s extending the deadline to apply for disaster assistance.

Originally the deadline was Nov. 9. It’s been extended to Nov. 24 in all Florida counties designated for relief.

Those affected by Hurricane Irma who apply for FEMA disaster assistance, shouldn’t consider an initial denial of aid the final word.


Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

TOA BAJA – Heavy rains fell last week in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, a town west of San Juan. The sound of the downpour took 68-year-old Carmen Rivera back to September 20 – the day Hurricane Maria roared into Puerto Rico and destroyed her home.

Nearly a month after Hurricane Irma washed 8-to-10 feet of storm surge onto Everglades City in southern Collier County, residents with damaged, unlivable homes are still waiting on emergency temporary housing. City officials estimate about 100 homes in the area are uninhabitable due to flood damage and mold. But officials say they expect relief within a week.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

An estimated 10,000 residents are homeless after Hurricane Irma blew through the Florida Keys as a massive and powerful Category 4 storm and devastated entire blocks of homes last week.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced the estimate during a news conference Monday morning in Marathon.

With that count, a little more than 10 percent of Monroe County residents have nowhere to live.

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is putting blue plastic sheeting on homes damaged by Hurricane Irma.

Associated Press

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long says the government response to Hurricane Irma has shifted from saving lives to one of beginning the long recovery process.

Long said at a briefing Friday that good progress is being made in getting people back into their homes or into temporary housing such as apartments or hotels. About 10,000 people in Florida remain in emergency shelters.

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, many Floridians are turning to Waffle House, as one of the few places to get a cup of coffee or a cell phone charge. But as the state begins rebuilding, the restaurant is taking on an even greater significance.

Alexandra Clough / Palm Beach Post

The city of Boca Raton suffered “several million dollars” worth of damage to its beaches from Hurricane Irma, Mayor Susan Haynie said Wednesday.

 

“The dunes got crushed,” said Chrissy Gibson, city spokeswoman. 

In addition, 49 percent of the city remained without power as of noon on Wednesday, Gibson said.

 

The city, like the rest of county, is slated to have its power restored by Sunday, Gibson said. In the interim, the county’s midnight to 6 a.m. curfew will be enforced in the city.

 

Associated Press

Just what type of help will the federal government and FEMA be able to provide for Hurricane Irma relief?

On Tuesday evening, President Donald Trump signed an emergency declaration for the 67 Florida counties. The declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to deploy to the field, WLRN reported earlier this week.

Gina Jordan/WLRN

About four miles from the state emergency operations center in Tallahassee, FEMA is gathering the first responders that will be deployed around Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. 

Emergency medical responders from several states are ready to act, including Lynn Pitts is from Stone Mountain, Georgia. She has some advice after working in Texas following Hurricane Harvey.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Hurricane Irma is still forecast to hit South Florida Sunday morning as a destructive Category 4 storm. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has ordered the largest mandatory evacuation for a hurricane in the county's history – some 660,000 people. And that also means South Florida’s largest-ever hurricane shelter response.

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