Florida leaders give update on damages following heavy downpours, flash flooding this week

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida emergency management leaders held a news conference in Hollywood on Friday, as they updated communities on the scope of the damage caused by heavy downpours and flash floods this week.

Florida's Division of Emergency Management Director, Kevin Guthrie, said so far there are reports of about 100 homes in Hollywood that were impacted, with four suffering serious damage.

"I'd imagine that number is going to be probably closer to 500," said Guthrie, who didn't appear to include in his estimate homes in other hard-hit areas.

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Guthrie believes the majority of the damage to structures is minor. State leaders said that's fortunate, considering parts of the South Florida area saw more than 20 inches of rain this week, including nearly 10 inches in a 24-hour period.

Guthrie said those communities were better prepared after experiencing a similar situation 15 months ago. The state estimates about 100 pumps have been used this week to clear flood water.

"I think the testament here is to the cities and the county and the state for coming in and getting this done as fast as we did. There's not the damage that we saw back 15 months ago," he said. "So a very, very rapid response led to the reduction of destroyed and major damage to homes."

Some of the hardest hit areas include Hollywood, Aventura and Hallandale Beach. A state of emergency was issued for Broward, Collier, Lee, Miami-Dade and Sarasota counties. Those areas are no longer under a flash flood emergency.

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"The area held a lot of it, but it just was so much inundation in such a short period of time, that you ended up having this," DeSantis said.

Guthrie said he does not believe the area will qualify for a FEMA emergency delcaration, but may be able to qualify for a Small Business Administration declaration, due to damage to businesses and uninsured homes.


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