Federal Funds Could Spur Hurricane Michael Recovery Efforts
Hurricane Michael made landfall about 16 months ago, on October 10, 2018. Striking the Panhandle as a Category 5 storm, the Hurricane caused over $25 billion in damage, a truly staggering sum. Thousands of homes were completely destroyed, and others suffered serious wind or flooding damage. Some people will be shocked to find out that there are still buildings with tarps over the roof in the Panhandle today.
Federal Funds Available
According to many news reports, the state is trying to speed up the recovery process. About $735 million in funding is available from the federal Department of Housing, or HUD, for rebuilding efforts in the Panhandle. This money could be used to help homeowners who are currently struggling to get back in their homes and to pull their lives back together. The money might also be approved for some projects that were denied funding by FEMA in the past year.
Thousands of people remain homeless after Hurricane Michael struck. According to NPR, FEMA trailers house thousands of families who were displaced by the storm. Many cities in the Panhandle also suffered critical failures of their infrastructure following Hurricane Michael. In Panama City, for example, a series of pump failures caused 65,000 gallons of raw sewage to flow into the waterways, putting public safety at risk. Truly addressing the storm damage means upgrading some of the infrastructure in affected areas.
To access the funds, the state must devise a State Action Plan. Members of the public will be asked for their input as to how money should be used. Even state officials, however, are cautioning the public to remain patient, since it could be months before the area sees any federal funds.
This Kind of Wait Is Not Unusual
On the one hand, people are naturally shocked to hear that people are still waiting for help over a year after the hurricane hit. But actually, this type of wait is typical. One official with the state noted that many communities in Louisiana are still trying to pull things back together after Hurricane Katrina struck, and that was over 15 years ago.
The federal money from HUD will largely go to help those who did not have insurance on their homes when Hurricane Michael struck. Although going uninsured is risky, some people simply can’t afford to purchase the necessary coverage.
However, even those with insurance are still facing delays getting reimbursed for repairs. According to statistics kept by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, there are still almost 16,000 insurance claims open related to Hurricane Michael. About 21,000 claims were closed without any payment whatsoever.
Take Control after a Hurricane
If you have insurance on your property, then making a claim is often far more complicated than many homeowners realize. Some insurers like to slow the process down or deny obviously valid claims. If a dispute breaks out, you should hire a Daytona Beach hurricane insurance claim lawyer to help you.
Bundza & Rodriguez is a leading firm in Daytona Beach committed to helping those make hurricane insurance claims. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation with a member of our team.