LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke on recovery from Hurricane Ian on Saturday, Oct. 1 from Fort Myers.
"There's going to be a lot of work to be [done] to salvage people's homes," DeSantis said as he began speaking to the southwest Florida communities, but the main points included rebuilding and recovery.
Hurricane Ian officially moved out of the state Thursday evening and recovery efforts have been a key focus. Pods handing out food and water have been established in several key areas most affected by Ian, including Fort Myers and Charlottesville.
DeSantis stated that these efforts are just 48 hours following the storm, with 20 additional pods expected to be open by the end of Saturday.
"Usually, this is a 96-hour evolution but because of the pre-planning and pre-staging, we're getting it open much better," DeSantis said.
The Army Corps of Engineers has been called in at the request of the counties to help with water system damage. Water and electrical were quoted as top priorities after life-rescuing missions within the state.
"We've had over 54-55% of the power that's gone out due to the storm restored, and this is a storm that has left the state less than 48 hours [ago]," DeSantis announced.
The governor addressed that county-to-county power outages will likely be addressed within the coming hours and days.
DeSantis also announced that his administration is working alongside Elon Musk and Starlink satellites to provide reliable coverage within southwest Florida.
At the address, the Starlink satellites were present for places offering emergency response services so they can be "fully hooked up."
SpaceX was also brought up during the briefing, as DeSantis announced 120 large Starlink units are being deployed to southwest Florida. The devices are said to help bring a 13-mile radius for 1,000 users at a given time. Many of the devices will reportedly go to Lee County, but not all.
"[It] will help bridge the connectivity issues and we're happy to be able to hand this out to Lee County, Charlotte and the surrounding counties as well," DeSantis said.
The community's involvement in reaching out and supporting relief workers was also applauded during DeSantis's speech.
At the time, Hardee County had the most power outages at 88%, while Lee County is at 73% and Charolette County is at 77%.
Over 1,300 people are on the ground from the Florida Department of Transportation and 1,300 miles of roadway have been cleared, but DeSantis noted additional flooding that may be on the way.
He also applauded the efforts of First Lady Casey DeSantis's Florida Disaster Fund, with over $20 million raised within 48 hours of launching the program.
Mobile command units have officially been deployed in Lee, Hardee and Charlotte counties to help with emergency efforts.
"So far 87,000 people have registered for FEMA, make sure you are taking evidence of the damage to your home," DeSantis said. "If you had flood damage and you had a policy under the National Flood Insurance Program, take pictures of the waterline. It will help you submit your claims."
Disaster recovery centers for those affected by Ian are being set up in counties for those with questions.
"There's been a great outpouring of support and I've seen a lot of resilience in this community. We'll persist [with relief efforts] long after the TV cameras are gone," DeSantis said.
The full update from Gov. DeSantis can be found here.