FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 28, 2005
CONTACT: ESF 14, (850) 921-0384
Florida Retailers Reopening as Power Restoration
TALLAHASSEE – With power restoration efforts well underway
following Hurricane Wilma, Florida retailers are reopening their
doors in impacted counties throughout the state. Just four days
following landfall, many major retail grocery stores are open to
serve customers in South Florida. Publix, Winn-Dixie, Target, Kash
and Karry and Wal-Mart reported that the large majority of retail
outlets are open for groceries, home repair and household supplies
in the disaster area.
“Power and open businesses are leading indicators of recovery
following a major hurricane,” said Governor Jeb Bush. “Recovery is a
long process but we are seeing improvements with every passing hour.
Relief workers, power crews and emergency managers are working
around the clock to help communities in South Florida recover and
return to normal."
Since Hurricane Wilma made landfall in South Florida on October
24, close to 1.76 million customers have power restored. The
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) continues to coordinate
with utility companies as they bring power back online to South
Florida homes and businesses. Currently more than 9,400 Florida
Power and Light personnel from 33 states are working around the
clock to continue restoring power.
Restored power is also easing lines at retail gas stations.
Working closely with members of the petroleum industry, DEP today
reported that more than 185 million gallons of fuel was at Florida’s
ports for distribution throughout the state. Fuel is being
replenished based on regional priorities, with deliveries made first
to emergency crews and first responders. Supplies are also being
replenished at retail gas stations with available power along major
transportation corridors and in metro areas for residents and to
support evacuees returning to areas affected by the storm.
As major community retailers reopen and restock their shelves
with groceries and supplies, Wilma Command is supporting more than
75 emergency Points of Distribution (PODs) sites with personnel and
resources in 11 counties. State and federal supplies continue to
flow through the distribution pipeline to support local emergency
response efforts. Yesterday, 335 trucks of supplies – 139 trucks of
water, 140 trucks of ice and 56 trucks of food – were shipped to
PODs in impacted communities. Today’s first shipment wave of
supplies included 267 trucks – 67 trucks of water, 145 trucks of ice
and 55 trucks of food.
As resources flow to the impacted areas, Floridians are urged to
visit open retail grocery stores, convenience stores and home repair
stores whenever possible. Neighbors can help neighbors by reserving
emergency state and federal resources for Florida’s most impacted
and vulnerable residents. Patronizing local businesses also injects
dollars into the local economy, accelerating recovery in the
communities impacted by a major disaster.
For information regarding open Florida retailers selling
groceries, gasoline and home repair supplies, please visit
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