WAUCHULA, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis held a news conference in Wauchula on Saturday and provided the latest details on recovery efforts for areas in southwest Florida affected by Hurricane Ian.
Gov. DeSantis said he had contacted SpaceX's Elon Musk, who agreed to position Starlink satellites to help restore online connectivity to some of the hardest hit counties impacted by the storm, which will assist first responders in their recovery efforts.
"They've donated the cost associated with all of the coverage, so we want to thank SpaceX and thank Elon Musk for that. A large device, you can put it different areas in the community that are having problems and they can get a 13-mile radius and they can support over 1,000 users at a given time," said Gov. DeSantis.
Gov. DeSantis said SpaceX will be delivering an additional 120 Starlink kits to counties in southwest Florida in the next 48 hours.
"Unity Fiber has provided free broadband access and Verizon has deployed drones to assist with additional cell coverage and that will also help assess damage and expedite recovery efforts," Gov. DeSantis said.
The governor said over 54% of those who lost power due to Hurricane Ian have had their electricity restored.
Earlier in the day, Gov. DeSantis visited a Waffle House in Charlotte County and helped staff prepare meals for linemen working to restore power.
There are currently 42,000 linemen responding to more than 1.2 million reported power outages.
As of 7 a.m. Saturday, more than 1,100 rescues have been made by more than 1,000 search and rescue team members.