Florida begins recovery from hurricane

Hurricane Irma caused major destruction in Florida with the Miami Herald reporting the death toll to be at least 75 people.

More than 6 million people were left without power due to the storm. The use of generators caused several carbon monoxide poisonings. At a rehabilitation center in Hollywood Hills, 11 residents died when they lost power.

More than 25 percent of homes on the Miami coast of Florida were destroyed, leaving 10,000 people homeless.

A total of 335,000 insurance claims, adding up to $2 million, have been filed. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation estimates the total cost of Hurricane Irma to be around $100 billion.

Gov. Rick Scott is focusing on cleaning debris and reducing pollution caused by the storm. The Florida Department of Transportation is working on clearing roads and rebuilding damaged infrastructure. The Federal Highway Administration approved a $25 million emergency relief grant for repairs to road and infrastructure.

Mass evacuations and the running of generators caused a depletion of the state’s fuel supply, creating a fuel crisis.

Vice President Mike Pence waived the Jones Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency has approved an emergency fuel waiver which will allow more fuel to enter Florida.

Crops and citrus groves in Florida were severely damaged by flooding and high winds, with many farmers looking at potential major economic loss. Harvesting season is only a few weeks away for many of Florida’s crops, but due to the storm, much of the harvest has been lost.

Coral reefs in the Caribbean were severely damaged by the storms, and many beaches suffered massive erosion. Florida panthers, Key deer, and all five of Florida’s sea turtle species already faced endangerment before Hurricane Irma. Now, much of their habitat is destroyed.

The Sunshine State is aggressively working to recover from Hurricane Irma. Human and wildlife residents of Florida alike are working to rebuild their homes.