DeSantis highlights recovery efforts following Hurricane Ian


Florida Construction News staff writer

Gov. Ron DeSantis visited Fort Myers last week, to highlight recovery efforts six months after Hurricane Ian made landfall.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has secured nearly $800 million in Public Assistance obligations at record speed, allowing Florida to generate nearly $1 billion in federal resiliency funds, according to the governor.

Through Florida’s state-led housing program, 504 households have received travel trailers, outpacing FEMA’s 460 households that received trailers. Additionally, more than $7 million has been awarded by the Florida Disaster Fund to support small businesses in Southwest Florida that were affected by the storm.

“When Hurricane Ian made landfall, we made a promise that we would be there for impacted Floridians every step of the way through the recovery process,” said DeSantis. “After the cameras left and the dust settled, we continued to stand up programs where the federal government dragged its feet and we continued to find ways to support Floridians whose needs did not fit into a specific government program. We are glad to be adding to these efforts with today’s announcements.”

Recovery highlights include:

  • Temporary repairs to the Pine Island bridge allowed access to Pine Island to be restored in less than three days.
  • Temporary repairs allowed a one-time convoy of bucket trucks and other equipment, supplies, work crews and emergency response personnel to cross the Sanibel Causeway while more permanent repairs to the causeway could be made.
  • Access to Sanibel Island via the Sanibel Causeway was restored in 15 days.
  • Power was restored to all 2.6 million accounts that were able to safely receive power in under two weeks.

DeSantis also updated permanent repair progress to the Pine Island bridge and Sanibel Causeway. The Pine Island bridge repairs are expected to be completed by fall of 2023 and are estimated to cost $25 million when completed. Permanent repairs to the Sanibel Causeway will be complete by the end of this year and are estimated to cost a total of $350 million when complete.

Additionally, more than 877,000 cubic yards of debris was removed on land and an additional 491,000 cubic yards of debris was removed from the water. FDEM partnered with local Sheriff and Police departments to utilize sonar technology to identify 5,672 items in the waterways of Charlotte, Collier, and Lee counties. Items ranged from vessels and vehicles to other debris such as appliances.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.