Governor Ron DeSantis and several state leaders held a news conference in south Fort Myers on Tuesday to give an update on the state’s recovery efforts after Hurricane Ian.
The governor said here in Southwest Florida, the Pine Island Bridge will be patched and passable by the end of the week. DeSantis said that the Pine Island Publix would open and be restocked once the bridge is open. The governor said the store was already handing out its perishable food items for free.
DeSantis also said that bids would be accepted from contractors who want to repair the Sanibel Causeway. He said the project would be more complex due to the bridge being broken in several areas.
Southwest Florida’s barrier islands have had a tough time recovering from Ian The state plans on creating command-and-control centers on the barrier islands to help speed up and organize relief and repair efforts
Governor DeSantis said more than 2,300 people had been rescued from the storm’s destruction by more than 1,000 rescuers. He said those rescue teams had cleared more than 79,000 homes and buildings so far.
First Lady Casey DeSantis said the state had received a $5 million dollar donation for Hurricane Ian relief efforts. She said the state is approaching $35 million dollars in donations to the state’s Hurricane Ian relief fund.
Joining the governor during his update was Florida Department of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie.
Guthrie said the water restoration efforts in the state are ahead of schedule.
The FDEM director said 200,000 people have registered for FEMA assistance.
The Florida Department of Emergency Management also said it would be opening an emergency field hospital on the Charlotte and Sarasota County line until the hospital capacity in the area is restored.
Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle said you could go to the state CareerSource page to find work with companies working on picking up the pieces after the hurricane.
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said if you are looking for a place to donate to the Hurricane Ian relief efforts, you can do so here. He said to be careful with other donation websites where the money may be harder to track once it has been donated.
You can watch the governor’s news conference in the player below or by clicking here.