Removal, Omits Context and Facts

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – CBS-Miami ran a story yesterday that is critical of the state’s effort to clear debris and reopen US 1 in the Florida Keys following Hurricane Irma. This story got it wrong on debris removal, and omitted facts.

Governor Rick Scott said, “Let’s not forget, the Florida Keys, a chain of islands with only one way in and one way out, took a direct hit by a Category 4 hurricane. It’s easy for these vendors to look back and say they would have shown up and completed the work for cheaper, but in the days following the storm, they were clearly over leveraged and did not have the people or equipment to fulfill their commitments. I will never let special interests get in the way of storm recovery. We sent additional resources to get the job done for a community that needed help and given a choice, I would do the same thing again.

“We took swift and appropriate action to get debris removed quickly so the more than 80 percent of Keys residents who evacuated could return home. We had multiple vendors, lobbyists and legislators advocating for the state to let the federal government manage debris removal. The federal government would have contracted with the same companies, but it would have been more expensive for taxpayers. By holding the line and utilizing FDOT contractors, National Guardsman and internal FDOT crews, we made vendors trying to profit from this disaster angry. As Governor it is my job to help communities when they need it, and that is exactly what we did here.”

While special interests continue to produce falsehoods in an effort to discredit the state’s work to clear debris following Hurricane Irma.