DeSantis requests increased federal cost share following Hurricane Michael upgrade

Posted on April 22, 2019 by Staff reports

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on April 19 sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting an increase in the federal cost share from 75 percent to 90 percent for the remainder of Hurricane Michael recovery.

This request follows the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s announcement that Hurricane Michael has been upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane – only the fourth Category 5 storm to ever impact the United States and the first to impact Florida as a Category 5 since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

“I am officially requesting an increase in federal funding for Hurricane Michael recovery from 75 to 90 percent,” said Governor DeSantis.“Since my first full day in office when I visited Northwest Florida, it was clear that the efforts to rebuild and recover were far from over. An increase in the federal share will help Northwest Florida tremendously and I thank President Trump for his previous commitment to fully fund the first 45 days of recovery from this storm. I look forward to continuing to work with the President to ensure Northwest Florida completely recovers.”

“At the Division of Emergency Management, we recognized the devastation this storm caused and took action in January by putting in place new processes and procedures to get funding out as quickly as possible,” said FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz. “I applaud Governor DeSantis for providing leadership and requesting 90 percent federal funding on the same day that Hurricane Michael was upgraded to a Category 5. This increase in federal funding will provide critical savings to Panhandle communities during their recovery.”

The President has the authority to issue a waiver and increase the federal cost share for hurricane recovery from the standard 75 percent to 90 percent prior to costs reaching the 90 percent threshold. With the recent upgrade of Hurricane Michael to a Category 5, as well as the tremendous amount of debris removal performed since the storm’s impact, the state estimates that this threshold will be met in the future. This change in the federal cost share would save the state and Northwest Florida communities hundreds of millions of dollars.

In January, Governor DeSantis announced that President Donald Trump granted his request for 45 days of 100% federal cost share for Hurricane Michael debris removal and emergency protective measures. Prior to Governor DeSantis securing this commitment, the federal government had only granted five days of 100% cost share. These additional 40 days saved the state and Northwest Florida almost half a billion dollars.