TALLAHASSEE – Scientists at NOAA now say Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, last October with sustained wind speeds of 160 miles per hour.
That led them to upgrade it to a Category 5 storm. It’s the first hurricane to make landfall as a Category 5 since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and only the fifth on record.
State and Federal funding remain uncertain for communities in the storm’s path. Attempts to pass a Federal Disaster Supplemental Relief Bill in Washington are caught up in partisan gridlock.
Bay County, Florida, would have to foot an $84 million bill if a federal bill isn’t passed. That means bankruptcy is a possibility for local governments.
“When those bills are two, three, four, five, six times the operating budget of cities and the county it doesn’t take an economist to know that that’s gonna cost financial troubles in the future,” says Bay County Commissioner Griff Griffitts.
A new Emergency Disaster Supplemental BIll was introduced in the House earlier this month but lawmakers are on recess until the end of next week.