As residents along the northern Gulf Coast begin to assess damage from Hurricane Katrina—folks in South Florida are still dealing with its aftermath. Katrina’s first landfall came Thursday—as a category 1. Hundreds of thousands of people were still without power late Monday afternoon. Florida Power & Light hoped to restore electricity to 90 percent of them by last night… and to the remaining 10 percent by Friday. President Bush waited until the weekend to declare Miami-Dade and Broward counties “federal disaster areas.” In other hurricanes, that declaration has come much sooner. Doug Phillips—of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel—says, in this case, the federal government wanted to be sure it was necessary.
“In an abundance of caution, they’re not rushing in with open checkbooks. And they just want to make sure that payments that they make are legitimate payments. I wouldn’t say there are any hard feelings. I would say there’s some caution that the president and congress don’t want the agency to rush in and start shelling money out—until it’s legitimately proven.”
Last year, FEMA doled out money to people in Miami-Dade who hadn’t actually suffered hurricane damage. The agency even paid for the funerals of people whose deaths weren’t a direct result of the hurricanes. Meanwhile, power outages aren’t the only problem… In south Miami-Dade County, there are still reports of significant flooding.
Tuesday, 30 August 2005 01:00