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Gov Scott: State Lucky To Avoid Major Damage, Next Step is Recovery

Governor Rick Scott says Florida avoided major damage from Hurricane Isaac. But, he says the state now needs to focus on recovery.  The Governor is using the next few days to tour the state in the aftermath of Isaac, starting with Palm Beach County Wednesday.

Palm Beach County officials estimate the damage in the county at about 9-million dollars. And, early Wednesday, Governor Rick Scott flew over the county to assess the damage due to Isaac.

“And, you can see some of these families and the damage that they’re dealing with. The roads are flooded, the properties are flooded, they’re concerned about their children getting to school, they’re concerned about them getting to work, some people are short of food, some people are short of medicine," said Scott. "And, so this whole team is making sure family by family, that they get taken care of.”

Scott adds once all the damage is surveyed by officials, residents, in places like The Acreage and Loxahatchee Grove, can move forward:

“The way we get FEMA reimbursement is tied to the amount of damage we have per county and we have to hit certain thresholds, and we have to hit certain thresholds at the state," said Scott. "So, we’ll be accumulating that information and working with FEMA to see if we can get there. If we don’t hit certain thresholds, there will still be some other types of help in terms of loans, rather than some grants.”

Referencing his own campaign slogan, Scott says the next thing the state has to focus on is getting the state back to work.

“We have a big holiday weekend coming up, Labor Day. So we’ve got to now think about the fact that we are a tourism state. We want people to continue to come to our state and spend their dollars, buy the homes," said Scott. "But, are biggest concerns going forward is will there be economic damage? Are people going to cancel their reservations to come visit our great state? Because so many jobs are tied to tourism.”

To help prevent the state from what he called “economic damage,” Scott visited two popular places in the Florida Keys Wednesday afternoon to highlight the state’s tourism industry: Key West’s Southernmost Point marker and the Ernest Hemingway Museum.

Isaac was a tropical storm when it skirted past Key West Sunday, leaving minimal damage.

The Governor will visit damaged areas in the Panhandle Thursday. Federal officials hope to have an overall assessment done by early next week.

Scott also activated Florida’s disaster fund, a donation system, to allow Floridians to help residents throughout the state recover from recent storms, like Debby and Isaac.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.