ICYMI: From South Florida, Curbelo Urges Congressional Colleagues to Approve FEMA Funding Ahead of Hurricane Irma

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Miami, Florida, September 7, 2017 | Joanna Rodriguez (202-225-2778) | comments

As he prepares for Hurricane Irma from South Florida, Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) joined Fox News Channel over the phone to urge his Congressional colleagues in Washington, D.C. to pass federal disaster relief funding for Florida and Texas.

Curbelo left Washington last night to return to South Florida to prepare his family and community for Hurricane Irma. Earlier today, he joined Senator Marco Rubio at the Miami-Dade Emergency Operations Center to coordinate Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) resources. Curbelo’s office remains in constant contact with government and law enforcement officials from Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, various federal agencies and Governor Rick Scott.

Florida’s 26th congressional district is the southernmost district in the country and includes the Florida Keys and South Miami-Dade County. The Florida Keys are currently under mandatory resident and visitor evacuations and South Miami-Dade, which was most severely impacted by Hurricane Andrew 25 years ago, is preparing for a hit by Hurricane Irma.

A partial transcript of the interview is available below. The video can be viewed here.

Curbelo Urges Congress to Approve FEMA Funding Ahead of Hurricane Irma
Fox News Channel
Miami, Florida
September 7, 2017

Fox News Channel’s Heather Childers: “Do you think that there are enough resources available, coming right on the heels of Hurricane Harvey? Are you concerned about that at all?”

Representative Carlos Curbelo: “Well, Heather, it’s very important that my colleagues in Congress – and unfortunately, I cannot be there. I wish I could be there, but it’s very important that this week they approve a measure that includes funding for FEMA. I spoke to the Administrator of FEMA today, they have only $460 million remaining, and they are spending at a pace of $200 million per day.

Childers: “That’s shocking. We actually heard Speaker Paul Ryan talking earlier and he said the same thing. He said that FEMA could run out of money by next week – by Tuesday.”

Curbelo: “That’s right and there could be millions of people in South Florida without power, with depleting food resources, so we cannot afford to have any interruption in the federal, state, or local response to this potential disaster.

Childers: “So do you think that lessons have been learned from previous storms? We’re being told that this is stronger and is going to be worse than Andrew. Just comparatively speaking – Andrew, Hugo, Katrina, Harvey – have we learned some lessons?”

Curbelo: “We have made major investments in this community. We have some of the strongest building codes in the country, so structures are sounder than they were in 1992, when Andrew devastated large portions of my District – Homestead and Florida City. So, we are more prepared.

“There is obviously conscientiousness and awareness about hurricanes here in South Florida. Now, at the same time, we have a lot of new residents, people who were not here in 1992, a lot of people who weren’t even here in the early-2000s when we had a string of storms. But none were as strong as Andrew, thankfully, or as strong as Irma now. But, local leaders are very well versed on all these issues and are ahead of the federal government and any other community in this country.”

Childers: “Well Congressman Curbelo, thank you so much for joining us and taking the time. I hope you and your family remain safe. I know that your district covers the Florida Keys; we hope all of those people get out as well. Thank you very much.”

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