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Florida's Hectic Hurricane Season Breaks Record for Disaster Relief Effort

By: Mike Vasilinda
By: Mike Vasilinda

The state is cautioning people to be patient as they wait for power and some sense of normalcy to be restored. Line crews from as far away as California are on their way to help get the lights back on, but state officials say the time table for restoration remains uncertain.

Colleen Castille, Florida Environmental Protection Secretary, says, “Those are extended outages and tomorrow we will have more detailed restoration dates.”

At a morning briefing, emergency planners emphasized personal safety.

Dr. John Agwunobi, Florida Health Secretary, says, “This is a time for every citizen to be extremely cautious, to go about the process of cleanup with great care, avoid over exertion and drink lots of water.”

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is asking people with minor damage to delay seeking help until those with more severe damage can get on the list first.

Shelly Boone with FEMA says, "Maybe their neighbor's house is completely flattened and they have nothing left. We are asking those who want to register by the tele-registration number to wait a few days if you only have minor damages."

Jeanne closed at least 39 school districts in Florida. The good news is that most were expected to be back running by Wednesday. Others face major obstacles.

John Winn, Florida Education Commissioner, says, “We have a plan for delaying FCAT administration. If we need to extend that for some of the counties that are hit again hard by Hurricane Jeanne, we will do that.”

To help with safety and security 50 state troopers were due to arrive in central Florida Monday, another 50 on Tuesday.

At one point on Monday, officials said 2.6 million electric customers did not have power. That works out to about five and a half million Floridians who are in the dark.


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