U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sent the following letter today to President Trump in support of the state of Florida’s request for a major disaster declaration for Florida counties that have been heavily impacted by Hurricane Michael.
The affected counties included in the state’s request are: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor and Wakulla.
In addition to Nelson and Rubio, the letter was signed by Reps. Buchanan, Castor, Curbelo, Demings, Deutch, Diaz-Balart, Dunn, Frankel, Gaetz, Hastings, Lawson, Murphy, Mast, Posey, Ros-Lehtinen, Ross, Rutherford, Soto, Wasserman Schultz and Wilson.
Below is text of the letter and a .pdf is available here.
October 10, 2018
President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500
As Hurricane Michael, a devastating category 4 storm with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour, made landfall today near Mexico Beach, Florida, we write in full support of Florida’s request for a major disaster declaration. With Hurricane Michael causing catastrophic damage across North Florida, it is critical that assistance is immediately provided to impacted communities.
Thank you for your prompt signing of the pre-landfall disaster declaration on October 9, 2018, which was vital to the state’s preparation efforts. Today, recognizing the magnitude of this storm, the State of Florida requested a major disaster declaration from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which is paramount in the protection and recovery of affected Floridians in the immediate aftermath of the storm.
Federal government resources will be vital after this unprecedented storm, and coordination between the federal government and state and local officials is essential. In particular, federal resources will be desperately needed for emergency officials and volunteers to assist those in northwest Florida and along the western coast of the state who are isolated and in need of aid. The size of this storm also warrants a major disaster declaration as sustained winds and storm surge have been reported as causing record damage.
Thus, we urge you to promptly approve the Governor’s request for a major disaster declaration, so the State of Florida will have access to all federal resources needed to commence its recovery and rebuilding process.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.