Trump approves bigger federal share for Hurricane Irma cleanup

Posted at 7:30 AM, Aug 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-23 17:46:09-04

President Donald Trump has agreed to increase federal reimbursements for ongoing recovery work following Hurricane Irma two years ago, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday.

"Great News! President Donald Trump has officially signed off to increase the federal cost share for Hurricane Irma recovery from 75 percent to 90 percent," DeSantis posted on Twitter. This will save our state and local governments more than $160 million. Thank you, Mr. President!"

Appearing at the Lee County Emergency Management facility in Fort Myers on Monday, DeSantis said the cumulative state and local recovery costs for the massive storm, which impacted nearly the entire state in 2017, has reached $2.63 billion and meets the federal standards to merit the reimbursement boost.

“We have some of the smaller municipalities that have debris costs that outstripped their entire operating budget," DeSantis said.

DeSantis requested the increase in a letter to President Donald Trump on Monday, saying “affected communities” needed more support. “With your approval of this request, you will provide much needed security and financial relief at both the state and local levels of government,” DeSantis wrote.

“This support will also assist Florida in our ongoing response to more recent declared disasters, like Hurricane Michael, which continues to take a substantial financial toll.”

During an appearance in Panama City Beach in May, Trump announced that he would approve the state’s request to increase from 75 percent to 90 percent, in many circumstances, the federal reimbursement for Michael, which battered the Panhandle last year.