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Northwest Florida is getting millions of dollars for hazard mitigation projects

Hurricane Michael devastation in the Panhandle of Florida - trees are broken and a house has trees on it
Hurricane Michael devastation in the Florida Panhandle

Governor Ron DeSantis has announced more than $3.8 million to Bay County, Chipola College, Cottondale in Jackson County, and Havana in Gadsden County for hazard mitigation projects.

In a press release, the Governor’s Office says these projects will focus on critical infrastructure to support recovery efforts in communities impacted by Hurricane Michael. The money is from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Rebuild Florida Hazard Mitigation Grant Match Program.

Many areas of the Panhandle are still recovering from the category 5 storm that struck nearly four years ago.

“There is more work to be done to help these communities strengthen their resiliency,” Governor Ron DeSantis said in the press release. “Through the Rebuild Florida Hazard Mitigation Grant Match Program, communities in the Panhandle are able to harden their infrastructure and take another step toward a complete recovery.”

The program is designed to fund projects that support recovery efforts and harden infrastructure. More than $35 million has been awarded through the match program.

Project funding includes:

  • Bay County (more than $2.5 million) – to pave and install drainage for 22 unpaved roads to provide safer emergency evacuation routes for more than 100,000 citizens who utilize these roads.
  • Chipola College (more than $1.2 million) – to harden critical infrastructure at Chipola College to serve as an emergency shelter and housing for emergency responders after a disaster.
  • City of Cottondale (nearly $45,000) – to install crucial generators at three critical facilities.
  • City of Cottondale (more than $20,000) – to install a vital generator at the city's Sprayfield Pump Station.
  • Town of Havana (more than $27,000) – to install a generator for backup power to two lift stations, the fire department, and the police station.
Gina Jordan is the host of Morning Edition for WFSU News. Gina is a Tallahassee native and graduate of Florida State University. She spent 15 years working in news/talk and country radio in Orlando before becoming a reporter and All Things Considered host for WFSU in 2008. Follow Gina: @hearyourthought on Twitter. Click below for Gina's full bio.