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Governor Announces $20 Million for Emergency Beach Repairs

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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will utilize $20 million of existing funding for emergency sand placement to help local governments address the significant dune and beach erosion.

Florida - Monday November 14, 2022: Governor DeSantis and local officials inspected the damage done by Hurricane Nicole along Florida's east Coast over the weekend.

The storm made landfall along Florida’s east coast as a Category 1 hurricane early last Thursday morning. The most severe damage was done to the beaches, condos and homes along the shoreline from Martin to St. John's County.

Following the tour of damaged areas the Governor announced that he has directed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to utilize $20 million of existing funding for emergency sand placement to help local governments address the significant dune and beach erosion caused by Hurricanes Nicole and Ian.

"We will help our coastal communities fully recover from the impacts of Hurricane Nicole,” said Governor DeSantis. “This $20 million will address immediate, emergency needs across several storm-impacted beaches while we work to identify additional funding to replace infrastructure and help the area rebuild.”

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has also been working to immediately stabilize and repair roads and bridges that were impacted by Hurricane Nicole, including State Road (S.R.) A1A. FDOT is performing several emergency repairs and was able to reopen S.R. A1A in St. Johns County within 24 hours of landfall.

Floridians impacted by Hurricane Nicole in need of assistance with recovery efforts such as cutting fallen trees, removing drywall or flooring, roof tarping and mold mitigation can contact the Crisis Cleanup line at 1-800-451-1954. Crisis Cleanup is open through Friday, November 25.

State response efforts include:

Florida Division of Emergency Management

• At Governor DeSantis’ request, FEMA has approved an Emergency Declaration for Tropical Storm Nicole. FEMA Public Assistance Category B (emergency protective measures) has been approved for 60 counties, as well as the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

• FDEM has activated the State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) to provide an additional resource for Floridians to receive information regarding Hurricane Nicole and Hurricane Ian recovery resources. Residents and visitors can call this toll-free hotline at 1-800-342-3557.

• FDEM Recovery Liaisons are coordinating with impacted counties to conduct Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments as requested.

• FDEM deployed shelter support staff to address staffing needs in counties that opened their public hurricane shelters.

• A team of 20 counselors supported shelter residents and law enforcement officers with emotional stress due to PTSD and past and present trauma from Hurricanes Nicole and Ian.

• FDEM coordinated with Volunteer Florida to provide 100 muck out buckets to Flagler County for debris cleanup efforts.

• FDEM has deployed requested resources for county response efforts, including:
- 18 pallets of water and a truckload of MREs to Orange County
- A pallet of MREs to Nassau County
- A 350kw generator to Brevard County to serve as backup power for a wastewater treatment plant
- Four pumps to Volusia County to assist with flood control

Insurance

• Following Governor DeSantis’ Emergency Order 22-256, OIR issued Emergency Order 302804-22 for Hurricane Nicole and Hurricane Ian. A copy of the order is available here.

Health and Human Services

• Boil Water Notices have been issued for 17 areas, over 7 counties a comprehensive statewide list of notices is available online.

• The State Surgeon General signed Emergency Order 22-253 which allows pharmacists to dispense up to a 30-day emergency prescription refill of maintenance medication to persons who reside in an area or county covered under this Executive Order and to emergency personnel who have been activated by their state or local agency but who do not reside in an area or county covered by this Executive Order.

• The State Surgeon General signed Emergency Order 22-007 suspending the requirement for licensed basic life support service providers, licensed advanced life support service providers, and licensed air ambulance services to obtain certificates of public convenience and necessity from the counties in which they operate.

Law Enforcement

• Area FWC officers in affected areas of the state remain on heightened alert status, available to respond to requests for assistance from local and state emergency management agencies.

• FHP continues to monitor roadways and bridges and is in communication with law enforcement, transportation, and emergency management partners to identify and assist with any response efforts.

• FHP is maintaining high visibility on interstate systems, bridges, and rest areas. Motorists can report disabled vehicles or dangerous driving conditions to *FHP (*347).

• FLHSMV has issued Emergency Order 111022, which:
- Waives specific requirements for commercial motor vehicles providing emergency relief; and
- Waives the replacement fees for driver’s license and identification credentials, vehicle registrations and titles, vessel registrations and titles and temporary parking permits for impacted individuals.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

• DEP has issued an Emergency Final Order to expedite necessary repair, replacement and restoration of structures, equipment, surface water management systems, works and other systems made necessary by Hurricane Nicole, as well as setting forth streamlined requirements for the management of storm debris.

• DEP issued an Amended Emergency Final Order to incorporate all 67 counties.

• At the direction of Governor DeSantis, DEP is providing $20 million of existing funding for emergency sand placement to help local governments address the significant dune and beach erosion caused by Hurricanes Nicole and Ian.

• Beach assessment teams have been deployed to Northeast, Southeast and Southwest Florida to begin windshield surveys. Beaches engineering teams will also be deployed to evaluate storm impacts in Northeast Florida (Volusia, Flagler and St. Johns counties). These assessments will help inform additional short and long-term recovery needs and the development of a Hurricane Recovery plan that will be submitted to the Legislature for funding consideration.

• Nine disaster debris management sites (DDMSs) have been authorized for Hurricane Nicole. DDMSs expedite clean-up, reduce environmental and public health impacts, and assist with meeting federal reimbursement requirements.

• Florida state park closures can be found here.

• National Estuarine Research Reserve and Aquatic Preserve closures can be found at floridadep.gov/rcp/aquatic-preserve.

Business Support

• The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has activated the private sector hotline at 850-815-4925, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time. Inquiries may also be emailed to ESF18@em.myflorida.com.

• DEO has activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey to gauge the impact of Hurricane Nicole on Florida businesses, visit FloridaDisaster.Biz.

• DEO is updating FloridaDisaster.biz with real-time information for business owners to prepare their businesses, families and employees for Tropical Storm Nicole.

Licensing

• DBPR EMERGENCY ORDER 2022-07 removes restrictions to ensure that registered electrical and alarm contractors are not subject to the geographical scope limitations or requirements when providing contracting services for the counties listed in the emergency order.

Elections

• Secretary of State Cord Byrd issued an emergency order suspending important deadlines for those in affected counties to ensure all votes are counted accurately while the state responds to Tropical Storm Nicole. Find more information on this order here.