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Fried Wants Emergency Bridge Loan Activated For Northwest Farmers

Tropical Weather
Gerald Herbert
Floodwaters move on the street, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Pensacola, Fla. Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm, pushing a surge of ocean water onto the coast and dumping torrential rain that forecasters said would cause dangerous flooding from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi and well inland in the days ahead.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried wants Governor Ron DeSantis to activate the state’s emergency bridge loan program. Farmers in Northwest Florida have lost an estimated $400 million in crops due to Hurricane Sally. Fried raised the issue to DeSantis during Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.

“I had an opportunity to speak to about 50 of our farmers over the course of the weekend who are seeing almost 100% of their crop loss between peanuts and cotton, complete devastation. And so I’m grateful that the president has in fact issued a disaster declaration on Friday," said Fried. "I wrote to you last night hoping that we could activate the state emergency bridge loan because we know unfortunately a lot of time it takes a significant amount of time to get these dollars to them.”

DeSantis says Florida Department of Economic Opportunity head Dane Eagle is working on the Hurricane Sally response.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.