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Hurricane Michael disaster communities awarded $17.5M through Rebuild Florida

Hurricane Michael 2019 ongoing destruction
David Goldman
File AP Photo
In this Friday, Jan. 25, 2019 fle photo, an excavator tears down a damaged home from Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Fla. Weather forecasters have posthumously upgraded last fall's Hurricane Michael from a Category 4 storm to a Category 5. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the storm's upgraded status Friday, making Michael only the fourth storm on record to have hit the U.S. as a Category 5 hurricane.

About a dozen counties recovering from Hurricane Michael are getting an additional $17.5 million to help prepare for future disasters.

The funding comes from the Department of Economic Opportunity’s Rebuild Florida Hazard Mitigation Grant Match Program.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday the dollars will cover the local cost-share for more than 20 projects eligible for federal hazard mitigation grant funds. The projects range from installing new generators and replacing stormwater infrastructure to hardening public buildings.

  • Apalachicola will get $90,966 to install a generator for the city’s police department and fire station.
  • Bay County will get $904,134 to harden 28 mast arm traffic signals.
  • Calhoun County will get $119,235 to install eight generators to power volunteer fire department buildings and public works facilities.
  • Gretna will get $126,219 to install five generators at lift stations and a generator at the city's police station.
  • Lynn Haven will get $330,165 to install generators at four lift stations, replace a drainage system near Mowat Middle School and to install new storm pipes and excavate drainage ditches.
  • Mexico Beach will get $2,353,355 to install a flood control gate on one of the town's bridges.
  • Malone will get $20,001 to install a generator and fuel tank at a fire station.
  • Marianna will get $2,469,856 to design and construct box culverts that will prevent street flooding along Kelson Avenue.
  • Panama City will get $8,903,332 for twin generators to send backup power to the Millville Wastewater Treatment Plant; to reconstruct lift stations farther inland; to harden five high-risk properties; to build two water wells at a hospital to maintain potable water. 
  • Springfield will get $23,690 to install generators at its fire department and police station.
  • Gulf County will get $642,452 to build a safe room for first responders at the Gulf Coast Electric Co-Op.
  • Jackson Hospital will get $1,223,837 to build an emergency backup water system.
  • Washington County will get $283,358 to install generators at the county’s health department, communication towers and sheriff's office and to buy and transform four properties into green spaces to prevent frequent flooding.
Valerie Crowder is a freelance journalist based in Tallahassee, Fl. She's the former ATC host/government reporter for WFSU News. Her reporting on local government and politics has received state and regional award recognition. She has also contributed stories to NPR newscasts.