Jeanne Recovery Begins

The back-to-back hurricanes have resulted in the largest ever federal relief effort, surpassing the collapse of the Oakland Bridge in 1994. The state is cautioning people to remain safe and to be patient.

Line crews from as far away as California are on their way to help get the lights back on, but Colleen Castille, Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, says the timetable for restoration remains uncertain.

“Those are extended outages and tomorrow we will have more detailed restoration dates.”

At a morning briefing, emergency planners like state Health Secretary John Agwunobi emphasized personal safety.

“This is a time for every citizen to be extremely cautious, to go about the process of cleanup with great care, avoid over exertion and drink lots of water.”

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is asking people with minor damage to delay seeking help until those with more severe damage can get on the list first.

Shelly Boone is a FEMA spokeswoman and says, “Maybe their neighbor’s house is completely flattened and they have nothing left. We are asking those who want to register by the tele-registration number to wait a few days if you only have minor damages.”

Jeanne closed at least 39 school districts in Florida. The good news is that most were expected to be back running by Wednesday.