PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday that the state is deploying all resources to help citizens in Northwest Florida recover from Hurricane Sally.
As of this moment, DeSantis said there were no fatalities from Hurricane Sally. The state has activated over 500 National Guard soldiers who have performed more than 100 rescues. Local first responders have done many rescues. FWC deployed 50 special operation members made rescued 20 people so far. Florida Highway Patrol troopers and Urban Search and Rescue teams have been deployed, and 43 ambulances have been sent to support for 911 operations
DeSantis said power is a major, major initiative and priority at this point. At the peak of the storm, 250,000 homes had power disconnected. So far, power has been restored to 40,000. Crews are working 24/7 to get power back on.
“We’re working closely with those power companies,” DeSantis said. “What I’ve asked the Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Transportation to do is to make sure they have the ability to get into the places they need.”
DeSantis urged people to stay in place.
“If you’re going out to drive just to drive, it’s really slowing down the utility trucks getting to where they need to be,” DeSantis said. “We want to get power on expeditiously as possible… Time is of the essence to get everyone in.”
The division of Emergency Management in northwest Florida is deploying 200 generators of all sizes. 100 pumps have been deployed to assist with power outages and flooding. 50 trucks with light towers are being deployed to support power restoration and traffic movement.
One assisted living facility in Santa Rosa County is without power, the state is assisting in evacuating 85 residents to a sister facility. DeSantis said this is the only medical facility requiring evacuation.
FDEM is deploying food and water and mobile feeding kitchens are being set up and will be running tomorrow, Sept. 18.
The Florida Department of Transportation has six bridges closed for safety. The Three Mile Bridge has significant damage after a barge collision. FDOT inspection teams are doing rapid inspection operations and push operations. FDOT is determining if negligence was involved on the part the owner of the barge. DeSantis said the issue could have been the National Hurricane Center was projecting a Mississippi impact.
“It’s a priority, but at the same time there is structural damage, so it can be more challenging when building major parts of the bridge,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis has spoken with the White House, FEMA and Homeland Security. He said other federal government agencies will be here to help as well.
“We have all hands on deck, we want to continue to keep people safe, do rescues as needed, and get that power back on,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis is meeting at the Emergency Management Center in Escambia County to “move forward in the way that is most helpful.”
PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is holding a press conference on Hurricane Sally in Pensacola at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez, Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz and Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault will also speak.
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