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Hurricane Ian FEMA update, agriculture impacts, and what's next for FGCU

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Tara Calligan-WGCU
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A flooded neighborhood in the Harlem Heights neighborhood in Fort Myers. Numerous blocks there remain flooded six days after Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida. 10/04/22

It has now been six days since Hurricane Ian made landfall in Lee County, causing widespread devastation across southwest Florida. While FPL and LCEC are making steady progress, hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses are still without power. There is no power at all on Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, Captiva or Pine Island and no way to estimate yet when service can be restored to the barrier islands. Most LCEC customers in Cape Coral and North Fort Myers are still without power.

We talk with someone from FEMA to get an update on their work in this area and what kinds of assistance people can receive from them and how to apply.

We also check in with someone from UF/IFAS to get a first-look at how Ian impacted agriculture in the state. And we talk with Florida Gulf Coast University President, Dr. Mike Martin, to see how campus operations have been impacted and what the plan is for the rest of the fall semester.

FEMA

FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP) provides financial and direct services to eligible individuals and households affected by a disaster, who have uninsured or under-insured necessary expenses and serious needs. IHP assistance is not a substitute for insurance and cannot compensate for all losses caused by a disaster. The assistance is intended to meet your basic needs and supplement disaster recovery efforts.

IHP Assistance may include:

OPERATION BLUE ROOF

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been tasked by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist eligible homeowners with temporary roof repairs. The Operation Blue Roof program will begin on Oct. 3 to provide a temporary blue covering with fiber-reinforced sheeting to help reduce further damage to property until permanent repairs can be made.

Operation Blue Roof is a free service to homeowners. The counties that have been identified are Charlotte and Lee. The initial sign up period is set for 21 days and will end on Oct. 23.

Residents impacted by Hurricane Ian can sign up at Blueroof.us. Here, you can sign up for Blue Roof assistance using a Right of Entry (ROE) form, which gathers information about your residence. The ROE is a legal document that allows Corps workers to access your property and assess your home's damage. The ROE also allows contracted crews to work on your roof.

Operation Blue Roof is a priority mission managed by the U.S. Army Corps Engineers. It protects property, reduces temporary housing costs, and allows residents to remain in their homes while recovering from the storm. This program is for primary residences or a permanently occupied rental property with less than 50 percent structural damage. Vacation rental properties are not eligible for this program.

After the blue roof is installed, the structure is declared habitable. Not all roof types qualify for the program. Roofs that are flat or made of metal or clay, slate, or asbestos tile do not qualify. All storm debris must be removed for the roof to qualify.

Residents can also call toll free 1-888-ROOF-BLU (1-888-766-3258) for more information.

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