Governor Ron DeSantis visited Osceola County on Friday to get a first-hand look at some of the damage and flooding that Hurricane Ian brought to the community, and to discuss with local officials possible solutions that might help reduce or prevent flooding in the future.
The Governor met officials from Osceola County, City of St. Cloud, City of Kissimmee, Southwest Florida Water Management, the Army Corps of Engineers, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection Shawn Hamilton , State Representative Fred Hawkins, and Osceola County Commissioner Ricky Booth.
“I am very appreciative that our governor would take the time take a look at the impacts that Hurricane Ian brought to our community. He has been working tirelessly to ensure that people are safe and recovering in South West Florida where Ian brought tremendous destruction, but he still reached out to us and wanted to know how people were doing here, and to discuss strategies and legislation that could possibly prevent or reduce flooding in the future,” State Representative Fred Hawkins, said.
When we asked Representative Hawkins about current lake levels, he said that levels shouldn’t rise any further and that local leaders are reporting that most water lakes and waterways are currently receding.
“We’re not acting as if this whole thing is behind us, many families are still experience flooding and have lost so much already. This is been a terrible experience for our community and for families all over our great state. That’s what I shared with the governor. We discussed ways that we can possibly prevent this from happening again. It matters to the families and businesses in our community, and it matters to me,” Hawkins went on to say.
The governor had an opportunity to see first hand how high water levels got in the Lake Ajay community, an area where thousands of homes were in jeopardy after Hurricane Ian passed. One of the topics in the discussion was how legislation might be able to bring a more consistent management of the water ways after weather events like Ian take place.