I’m starting the week much like I ended the last one… eternally grateful for what I have. Also, so sad for those that lost everything.

We are getting a clearer picture now of just how bad things are in Hurricane Ian’s aftermath. It’s bad. Perhaps worse than we thought.

58 people confirmed dead across Florida. That number will go up. They are still trying to find people.

This is a stunning number to me. According to the disaster modeling firm Karen Clark and Company, Hurricane Ian likely caused well over $100 billion in damage. That includes $63 billion in privately insured losses.

If you follow Florida’s property industry, you know there were already big problems before the hurricane. Now, what?

State Senator Jeff Brandes sounded the alarm on Florida’s insurance crisis. I just interviewed him. He paints a grim picture of things.

Expect our rates to go up. Expect some companies to pay their claims and walk away from Florida. It’s not a good picture. It will likely get worse.

In some of the most affected areas, schools are closed. They likely will be closed for a long time. I wondered why they couldn’t do remote learning? The answer. There’s no power to do it.

Again, the scope of this is impossible to wrap your brain around. Where to start?

First of all, you have to locate and rescue the survivors. Some are still stuck. Some don’t want to leave.

There’s a small community near Cape Coral, Matclacha Island, that has been decimated. Debris. Flooded streets. The bridge in and out is destroyed. The National Guard and the Army are bringing in water and supplies.

Next, you have to clear away all that debris. After that, rebuild the power grid. Then, you can start to rebuild. This will take years.

President Biden will visit Florida this week. He’s visiting Puerto Rico too to assess their damage from Hurricane Fiona.

Another story making the rounds is the evacuation of Lee County. Did officials there wait too long to tell people to leave? It’s a legitimate question that must be answered.

For now though, we have to help these survivors. Food. Water. Gas. Building supplies. It’s all coming.

It’s a new week. A new chance to help those that desperately need it.

One thought on “New week.”
  1. Another great blog from Russell Rhodes. All of us in Florida, even those unaffected by Ian, can expect to pay dearly to rebuild Florida. And its our obligation to do so. Thirty years ago after Hurricane Andrew devastated Florida 11 insurance companies went bankrupt. The Florida Building Codes Study Commission was enacted which led directly to strict new building codes across Florida. Without it we would now be in an even greater mess. If we are ever to expect insurance companies to return to Florida, and if we are ever to expect to minimize the impact of future hurricanes in Florida, we must act now to establish even stricter building codes. It cannot wait. We need a new study commission. And we MUST consider restricting the building, or rebuilding, of homes along the waterfront especially when they are not built on piers or stilts. Also the elimination of flimsy mobile homes and manufactured homes that do not meet requirements of current building codes must be considered. The Florida peninsula is a huge swamp that will someday sink back into the sea. The best we can do until then is to take meaningful precautions.

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