PHOTO RELEASE: Curbelo Marks One-Year Anniversary of Hurricane Irma’s Landfall in the Florida Keys
Curbelo Visits Fishermen’s Community Hospital, Distributes Furniture Donations to Recovering Families, Breaks Ground at New Affordable Housing Complex
Today, Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), whose district includes Monroe County, marked the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Irma’s landfall in the Florida Keys with events throughout the island chain.
“One year ago today, our home state of Florida was preparing to face Hurricane Irma’s devastating winds and storm surge,” Curbelo said. “Thousands of properties were destroyed or severely damaged, lives were lost, and the Florida Keys’ tourism-based economy was forced to a standstill that left significant financial strain on individuals, families, and small entrepreneurs throughout the island chain. In the year since then, I’ve been humbled to witness the resiliency of our South Florida community. Conchs are resilient and generous people, and while the recovery has been and still continues to be a difficult road, I’m grateful for the work of local, state, and federal partners to make Monroe County a priority.”
Hurricane Irma’s 130-miles-per-hour winds and over 10-foot storm surge devastated the Lower and Middle Florida Keys. Leading up to the storm, the island chain was under mandatory resident evacuation. Monroe County suffered 14 fatalities, and had over 27,000 homes damaged by the Category 4 storm. Immediately following Hurricane Irma, Curbelo was on the ground in the Florida Keys and Miami-Dade County coordinating federal resources, assessing damage, and meeting with constituents. He led multiple Congressional Delegations to show Congressional leaders and colleagues the damage firsthandin order to build support for the necessary disaster relief funding. In the months after, Curbelo worked in Washington to secure tens of billions of dollars in federal disaster relief funding, and led effortsin the House of Representatives to pass bipartisan disaster relief tax creditsthat provide targeted tax reliefto the survivors of last year’s storms and wildfires.
Fishermen’s Community Hospital
Curbelo visited Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon, Florida where he reviewed recovery efforts over the past year and discussed the path forward. Fishermen’s Community Hospital, a part of Baptist Health, was devastated by Hurricane Irma and forced to close the original hospital. A field hospital was opened on-site to provide emergency care immediately after the storm. Last month, a newer, 7,040 square foot temporary modular unit was built in its place to house all medical services under one roof while the original hospital is being rebuilt.
Curbelo was joined by (from left to right) City of Marathon Mayor Michelle Coldiron, State Representatives Holly Raschein and Jeannette Nuñez, representatives from Baptist Health, and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.
Curbelo meets with a Middle Keys resident who continues depending on Fishermen’s Hospital for medical care.
Farm Share Furniture Donation Distribution
Curbelo joined volunteers from the U.S. Coast Guard to distribute furniture, appliances and food to needy families still recovering from Hurricane Irma as part of Farm Share’s disaster case management program. Farm Share, a non-profit organization headquartered in Homestead, FL, has provided financial assistance and food, furniture, and appliance donations throughout Florida Keys since Hurricane Irma.
Curbelo joins local and state elected officials to welcome volunteers to Farm Share’s donation distribution.
Curbelo thanks members of the U.S. Coast Guard for their service and commitment to Keys Recovery as they assist distributing furniture to needy families.
Curbelo meets with a local lobster fisherman whose family is receiving donated furniture and appliances from Farm Share.
Groundbreaking at New Key West Affordable Housing Complex
Curbelo also participated in the groundbreaking celebration for The Quarry, a new 208-unit, hurricane-resistant affordable housing complex in Key West that is being partly financed through low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC). Curbelo is the sponsor of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017, which would strengthen and expand the low-income housing tax credit.
Curbelo joins local and state elected officials and private partners at the groundbreaking celebration for The Quarry, a 208-unit hurricane-resistant affordable housing complex.
Curbelo discusses the importance of the low-income housing tax credit to make more affordable housing possible in the Florida Keys.