Governor Ron DeSantis visits Taylor County following Hurricane Idalia

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Florida Construction News staff writer

All state bridges have been inspected and cleared by FDOT, including Cedar Key Bridge, in response to Hurricane Idalia in Perry, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday.

FDOT has nearly 700 team members deployed to the impacted areas, which includes nearly 100 Bridge Inspectors and 224 Cut and Toss crew members. Those crew members have cleared 6,600 miles of roadway.

About 250 pieces of major equipment, including 140 dump trucks, 59 pumps, and 207 other heavy equipment (front-end loaders, skid-steers, etc.) have been deployed with FDOT crews. Nearly 1,100 generators have been deployed to help restore traffic signals.“In less than 12 hours after Hurricane Idalia made landfall, FDOT was able to clear all state bridges, including the Cedar Key Bridge,” DeSantis said. “This is an important step in recovery and will allow first responders, law enforcement, utility linemen and supplies to come onto the island.”

Also, the Florida Disaster Fund has been activated to support communities impacted by Hurricane Idalia. Since activating, the fund has raised more than $1 million to support impacted Floridians. To donate, click here.

FDEM is leading the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) for the Hurricane Idalia response and two months after the first graduation of Florida State Guard soldiers in 75 years, they’ve been called up to support the response and are on the ground in Taylor County.

“I was in Taylor County today to meet with local officials and discuss ongoing response efforts,” DeSantis said. “Just 10 hours ago a strong Category 3 Hurricane made landfall here, but this community is resilient.

“The team on the ground is working hard and we are with them every step of the way.”

The Florida National Guard’s Air Force Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadrin Engineer (REDHORSE) is a highly trained unit in heavy construction that is uniquley mobile and also able to quickly move debris and clear vital routes for our responders. They have worked tirelessly since early morning to clear routes for our own teams to conduct door to door wellness checks for our fellow Floridians.

The Florida National Guard currently has:

  • 2400 vehicles to include high mobility and high-water vehicles,
  • 14 FLARNG helicopters strategically placed around the state and that number could double with assistance from neighboring states,
  • 23 small watercrafts ready to support search and rescue, and reconnaissance missions.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is actively working to provide any needed assistance to drinking water, wastewater and hazardous waste facilities. Outreach to these facilities to determine operation status is ongoing.

DEP’s request for a fuel waiver was granted by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to temporarily adjust certain regulatory requirements statewide so the state can ensure a sustained, useable fuel supply.

FDOT has nearly 700 team members deployed to the impacted areas, which includes nearly 100 Bridge Inspectors and 224 Cut and Toss crew members and 250 pieces of major equipment, including 140 dump trucks, 59 pumps, and 207 other heavy equipment (front-end loaders, skid-steers, etc.)

FDOT issued an Emergency Order to temporarily allow expanded weight and size requirements for vehicles transporting emergency equipment, services, supplies, and agriculture commodities and citrus.

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