5 Years Later: Hurricane Irma in Florida

Release Date:
August 29, 2022

Hurricane Irma struck Florida Sept. 10, 2017, causing severe damage in many parts of the state. Federal funding for recovery has totaled more than $5.58 billion in assistance to households and communities, low-interest disaster loans and flood insurance payments.

By the Numbers

As of July 18, 2022

  • $2.45 billion obligated for 7,943 rebuilding projects under FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program, including $35 million for 299 projects with increased resilience of the facility, improving their ability to withstand future storms or natural hazards. Of those projects, $24 million has been obligated and another $11 million is in the approval process for rebuilding stronger structures.
  • $304 million obligated for additional projects in Florida under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
  • $1 billion in FEMA Individual Assistance provided to 774,691 households, including $712.5 million for Housing Assistance and $308.5 million for Other Needs Assistance
  • $982.5 million paid to 28,751 policyholders in the National Flood Insurance Program
  • $1.43 billion in low-interest disaster loans provided to 37,083 applicants by the U.S. Small Business Administration

Incident Period: Sep. 4, 2017 – Oct. 18, 2017

Major Disaster Declaration Issued: Sep. 10, 2017


  • Aug. 27, 2017, Hurricane Irma was first identified as a potential threat.
  • Sept. 5, FEMA personnel deployed to Tallahassee to prepare with the State of Florida for the impact of Hurricane Irma.
  • Sept. 10 at 9:10 a.m. the eye of Hurricane Irma made landfall in Cudjoe Key (Monroe County) as a Category 4 hurricane, and a second landfall that afternoon in southwest Florida near Marco Island as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph.
  • Sept. 10, the President issued a major disaster declaration, authorizing Individual Assistance (IA) to nine counties: Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pinellas and Sarasota.
  • This declaration included Direct Federal Assistance for Debris Removal and Emergency Protective Measures (Categories A and B) under the Public Assistance program for all 67 counties and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) statewide.
  • Subsequent amendments brought the total number of IA-designated counties to 48.
  • The impacts were widespread and severe, resulting in a Level 1 federal disaster designation.
  • Hurricane Irma’s 185-mph lifetime maximum winds tied with Florida Keys Hurricane (1935) and Hurricanes Gilbert (1988) and Wilma (2005) as the second strongest maximum winds of all time in an Atlantic hurricane.
  • Irma’s 185-mph maximum winds continued for 37 hours — the longest any cyclone on record around the globe maintained that intensity.
  • Sixty-five percent of the state was without power immediately after the storm — 6.5 million homes and businesses. On Sept. 22, Florida Power and Light Co. announced service had been restored to essentially all 4.4 million customers affected by Hurricane Irma.
  • At peak, more than 3,000 federal workers from nearly 40 agencies were deployed to Florida to assist with response and recovery.
  • More than 2.6 million survivors applied for FEMA assistance in Florida before the deadline of Nov. 24. At peak, 22 Disaster Recovery Centers were open to assist survivors with registration and provide recovery information.
  • Thousands of homes across the state sustained damage; fewer than 1,000 primary residences were destroyed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers installed 13,370 temporary roofs as part of Operation Blue Roof to mitigate additional damage after the storm.
  • FEMA and the state of Florida worked through a joint Housing Task Force to implement programs to meet the housing needs of survivors.
  • FEMA activated the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program that provided short-term lodging in hotels for more than 27,000 eligible disaster survivors.
  • FEMA’s rental assistance program reimbursed more than 400,000 eligible Floridian households to relocate to an apartment or similar housing while repairs were made to their homes.
  • Direct housing: Both travel trailers and direct leases provided intermediate housing solutions for survivors unable to locate temporary rental resources on their own.

For more information about Hurricane Irma in Florida, go online to fema.gov/disaster/4337.

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