Buchanan Leads Florida Delegation Update with FEMA
FEMA Says Electricity to Be Restored by Sept. 22
WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan today led a bipartisan Florida delegation conference call with FEMA to discuss recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
All 29-members of the Florida congressional delegation were invited to participate in a call with Jeff Byard, FEMA’s associate administrator for response and recovery, Tito Hernandez, FEMA's federal coordinating officer for Florida, and Jessi Nalepa, FEMA’s director of congressional affairs.
“While the storm has passed there is still much work to be done,” said Buchanan, who co-chairs the Florida delegation with Democrat Alcee Hastings of Fort Lauderdale. “The focus now is on making sure all hurricane-ravaged communities have the resources they need to rebuild as quickly as possible.”
During the 45-minute update, Mr. Byard alerted congressional members that FEMA is aggressively addressing fuel shortages and power outages throughout the state. Byard estimated that power on the west coast of Florida should be completely restored by Sept. 22 and the east coast by Sept. 17.
FEMA officials also informed the delegation that assistance to individuals hit by the storm has started to flow, with $7 million in aid already obligated. More than 60,000 requests for individual assistance have been made of the agency.
Buchanan monitored Hurricane Irma from the Manatee County Emergency Operations Center and yesterday surveyed the storm damage by helicopter with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.