More Than $1 Billion in FEMA Funds Approved To Reimburse Hurricane Irma Infrastructure Costs in Florida

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Release date: 
July 11, 2019
Release Number: 
R4 DR-4337-FL NR 308

ORLANDO, Fla. – Nearly two years after historic Hurricane Irma made landfall, carving a destructive path from the Keys to the Georgia state line, federal funding for response and infrastructure repair projects in Florida has topped $1 billion.

In total, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance (PA) program has funded more than $1.02 billion in grants to state and local governments and certain non-profits – including houses of worship – recovering from the 2017 hurricane:

  • $466.7 million for debris removal and disposal
  • $314.9 million for response costs like police and fire department overtime and shelters
  • $21.8 million for repairing roads and bridges
  • $26.2 million for repairing water control facilities like canals and stormwater systems
  • $51.3 million for repairing or replacing buildings and equipment
  • $42.7 million for repairing utilities like electric and water/sewer systems
  • $83 million for repairing parks and recreation facilities
  • $15.6 million for administrative/management costs

Public Assistance reimburses eligible applicants for the cost of responding to a disaster and repairing or replacing damaged or destroyed infrastructure. The widespread impact of Irma meant the federal government authorized reimbursement for emergency response and debris removal for all 67 Florida counties, and infrastructure reimbursement for 55 counties.

To date, 5,854 of a projected 7,959 total projects – nearly 74 percent – have been funded.  FEMA continues to work closely with the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) and all eligible applicants who have not completed their grant submission requirements under the PA program.

This includes helping applicants gather and submit required documentation to substantiate their claims for reimbursement for Irma-related damages. FDEM then conducts a review and submits complete documentation to FEMA, which reviews it and then provides funding to FDEM for distribution to the applicant.

The federal share for Public Assistance projects is not less than 75 percent of the eligible cost. The state determines how the non-federal share of the cost of a project (up to 25 percent) is split with the sub-recipients like local and county governments.

In the nearly 700 days that FEMA has been in the state since Hurricane Irma, 559 of the 996 eligible applicants have completed all of their reimbursement request activities for storm-related damages. Among the grants awarded are:

  • $13.3 million to Miami-Dade County for emergency protective measures. It includes $6 million for more than 9,500 hours of overtime worked by some 1,600 police officers, preparing for the storm, evacuating residents and responding to the hurricane.
  • $119 million to Miami-Dade County to collect, remove and dispose of more than 2.5 million cubic yards of vegetative debris and more than 2.2 million cubic yards of mixed vegetative and construction/demolition debris.
  • $11.6 million for Clay Electric Cooperative to repair damaged infrastructure in its service area, which serves 183,000 customers in Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Lake, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Union and Volusia counties. These funds paid to replace 616 broken power poles, 533 destroyed transformers, and other equipment.

Additional information about FEMA’s Public Assistance program can be found at https://www.fema.gov/public-assistance-local-state-tribal-and-non-profit.

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FEMA’s Mission: Helping people before, during, and after disasters.

Last Updated: 
July 11, 2019 - 15:55