ARCADIA, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis held a news conference from Arcadia, Florida on Sunday to provide the latest details on recovery efforts from the massive devastation caused by Hurricane Ian.
"This is such a big storm (that) brought so much water that you're having basically what's been a 500-year flood event here in DeSoto County and in some of the neighboring counties," Gov. DeSantis said.
Gov. DeSantis urged counties that were heavily damaged by the storm to get the process moving when it comes to debris removal, so they can get fully reimbursed.
"The counties who have debris and other problems... get that going now on the removal. Hire a contractor, do what you got to do. You have 30 days from the time this was approved to get 100% reimbursement for all your debris removal. And I know the debris is significant in some places, maybe surprisingly a little lighter in others - at least compared to Hurricane Michael," Gov. DeSantis said. "Nevertheless, you have an opportunity to get that paid for 100% and when you're talking about more rural communities in particular, those costs can be significant. So please take advantage of that. Florida has been approved across the major affected counties for 100% reimbursement for debris removal. But you've got to go out and hire the people, pay them to be able to do it. If you don't do that and you wait until after the 30 days then you're not going to get 100% reimbursement and that will absolutely pinch your local budgets."
On Saturday, the governor spoke from Wauchula, Florida and thanked SpaceX and Elon Musk for donating many Starlink satellite kits that will enable first responders in areas without cellular or internet connectivity.
According to the governor, Starlink satellite kits have been delivered to some of the hardest hit areas on Florida's west coast, and they are expecting a delivery of an additional 120 kits to those areas. All of the costs of those units were covered by SpaceX.
Gov. DeSantis also visited a Waffle House in Charlotte County on Saturday and assisted staff in preparing hot meals for the more than 42,000 linemen that are working to restore power throughout Florida's west coast.