Wewahitchka area receives $9 million for storm readiness

Governor Ron DeSantis on Feb. 11 announced more than $91 million in funding to Panhandle communities, including an $8.5 million grant for wastewater improvements in Wewahitchka.

The funds, which will support improvement projects for wastewater and sanitary sewer, potable water and stormwater systems, are granted through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s Rebuild Florida Mitigation General Infrastructure Program.

Rebuild Florida is administered by DEO and uses federal funding to allow local governments to develop large-scale infrastructure projects that aid communities in improving their preparedness for future disasters.

“I’ve said from the beginning that recovery from Hurricane Michael would be a long-term process,” said DeSantis before a gathered crowd in Marianna on Friday. “Michael has forever left a mark on Panhandle communities, but through the funding provided, we can ensure these communities are stronger and better equipped for the future.”

The announcement came days after the governor’s office awarded a $642,452 grant to Gulf County to create a safe room for first responders at the Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative, also in Wewahitchka. Money for the project will be granted through the Rebuild Florida Hazard Mitigation Grant Match program.

The program funds the local community’s match portion of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s  Hazard Mitigation Grant Program  awards to support recovery efforts in communities impacted by Hurricane Michael.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management administers the state’s FEMA HMGP awards, which requires a local match of 25 percent. DEO administers the local match portion of the HMGP through the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery rogram allocated to the state through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development . 

“Every day, progress is being made toward the long-term recovery of those impacted by Hurricane Michael,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. “These grants will allow communities with remaining needs to make important upgrades and improvements to critical infrastructure and to mitigate future storm damage.”

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper NonDoc.com during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.