MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Sen. Marco Rubio couldn’t be happier with how state and federal officials responded to the looming threat of Hurricane Dorian.
“The hurricane center did a phenomenal job,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, focusing on the positives right away, including South Florida’s hurricane preparedness.
“They’ve been investing over the last few years and we’ve been working on that with them on improving the hurricane modeling,” Rubio explained. “And if you look at the cone that was out there this year, if that storm had had hit us 10 years ago, that cone would’ve been twice the size.”
Sen. Rubio said that makes a huge difference in evacuation orders and emergency planning, commending the quick response from state and federal officials.
“What we’re waiting to see, we don’t think there will be catastrophic loss obviously there will be some beach erosion, some property damage in Northeast Florida,” said Sen. Rubio. “Certainly nothing like what the Bahamas has gotten hit with, with this massive storm sitting on top of it for almost two days.”
Foreign aid and assistance programs for the Bahamas have already been activated under agreements the Bahamas have with the U.S. already. The Coast Guard is leading the task force as well as the search and rescue for people.
Officials are also working with the Bahamian authorities to get displaced citizens who have relatives in the U.S. reunited with their families.
Sen. Rubio calls the outpouring of support from the community “phenomenal,” but said he is worried about the destruction and the death toll, which is rising.
“Just the images that you’ve seen, if there was anybody there, you’re going to have a loss of life that won’t be insignificant,” said Sen. Rubio.
As far as reimbursement for hurricane preparation from the federal government, Sen. Rubio said he is talking with Gov. Ron DeSantis and the White House to see if they can get some relief for partial reimbursement to local counties.
“We’re worried in the future,” Sen. Rubio said. “Counties may not be as willing to do the pre-storm preparation if they think they’re not going to be able to recoup some of that money back.”