As homebound evacuees clog interstates, Gov. Rick Scott says food, water and fuel are also heading to South Florida.
Scott told reporters Tuesday afternoon at the state Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee that the biggest push underway is to get the power on.
“I know we have over 30,000 linemen here and people that’ll clean up debris for them, along with the people that already work at our companies," Scott said.
The state also needs the ports fully operational in order to deliver fuel.
“Especially Port Tampa Bay and Port Everglades, we’ve got to get the fuel back," Scott said. "So we’ve got tankers ready to come in as long as those ports get opened. We have some fuel there, so we’re trying to get that out. We’re doing escorts out of these ports to the gas stations. On top of that, the gas stations have got to get their power up.”
Shortly after the governor's comment, Port Tampa Bay was opened to fuel tankers.
Read more: Helpful Numbers And Resources
Tolls across the state have been suspended, as heavy traffic on highways and interstates in some areas is slowing the utility and fuel trucks. The National Guard is helping, with sixteen aircraft being used to deliver supplies like food and water
The Department of Transportation is inspecting bridges, trying to get traffic to the Keys flowing again. “The keys is hurting. They’re out of water, the sewer system’s not been working," Scott said. "But they’re working hard to get the power back up and get all the services down there.”
Scott wouldn’t answer a question about whether a special legislative session would be needed to deal with the effects of Irma. He said, "Right now the focus should be - let's keep everybody alive."
16 Florida counties are covered under a major disaster declaration. They include Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. That means individuals will be able to get assistance from the federal government.
If your home was damaged by Irma, call 800-621-FEMA or click here to get information about registering for disaster relief.
Copyright 2017 WLRN 91.3FM. To see more, visit WLRN 91.3FM