Rep. Rutherford Speaks On House Floor to Commend First Coast’s Response to Hurricane Irma
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Washington, D.C. – Speaking on the U.S. House of Representatives floor last night, Congressman John Rutherford praised local, state, and federal officials after Hurricane Irma, and explained the challenges Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands face as they recover from Hurricane Maria.
Key excerpts of Congressman Rutherford’s remarks are transcribed below:
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commend the resilience of my fellow Floridians, to thank our men and women in uniform, including our State and local first responders, and to recognize our State and local leaders for the tremendous aid and direction they gave to all of our fellow Floridians during their response to Hurricane Irma.
In northeast Florida, we experienced historic flooding, levels not seen since 1846. That is the year after Florida became a State.
In St. Johns County, small businesses were flooded and homes literally toppled over into the ocean. Many more still threaten to fall into the ocean, undermined by severe beach erosion.
In Nassau County, a week after the storm, areas of the county were still not accessible due to heavy flooding and shelters were still open.
Mr. Speaker, the Florida delegation in this House is now unified to ensure that Floridians receive the Federal support they need to recover from this horrible natural disaster, Hurricane Irma.
As you know, Mr. Speaker, the Port of Jacksonville is ground zero for getting shipments of needed goods to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In fact, the American Maritime Partnership and the entire U.S. maritime industry are first responders in times of emergency like Irma and Maria when they strike Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Our prayers go out to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and we are prepared to stand by them as they face the daunting task of rebuilding their communities. We will continue to work together with our State, local, and Federal officials to ensure that Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands can recover and build even stronger than before.