Miami, FL — Today, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) urged President Trump to approve the State of Florida’s request for an increase in the Federal cost share from 75 percent to 90 percent for eligible costs for permanent and emergency work associated with Hurricane Michael for the duration of recovery. On April 19, 2019, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration formally made the determination to upgrade Hurricane Michael to a category 5 hurricane.

The full text of the letter is below.

Dear Mr. President:

As you know, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conducted a detailed post-storm analysis following Hurricane Michael, which devastated Florida’s Panhandle on October 10, 2018. On April 19, 2019, NOAA formally made the determination to upgrade Hurricane Michael to a category 5 hurricane. Hurricane Michael is only the fourth category 5 storm to impact the United States, and the first to hit Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The Florida Panhandle has experienced unprecedented destruction to its communities, and this determination by NOAA underscores the severity of the storm. As such, I write in support of the State of Florida’s request for an increase in the Federal cost share from 75 percent to 90 percent for eligible costs for permanent and emergency work associated with Hurricane Michael for the duration of recovery. While I was pleased with your Administration’s previous commitment to fully fund 45 days of recovery from this devastating storm, it is critical that the State of Florida’s request is approved so that communities in Northwest Florida are able to fully recover and rebuild. 

Numerous reports have detailed the level of devastation these communities have endured. I have visited these communities firsthand and have seen the impact these unparalleled levels of devastation are having on families and communities, including extensive damage to critical infrastructure that will require significant assistance from the federal government in order to be restored. 

Damage estimates reported by local governments and state agencies have clearly demonstrated that the necessary threshold will be met in order for an increase in the Federal cost share to be justified. It is clearly evident by NOAA upgrading Hurricane Michael to a Category 5 storm that Florida, its counties, and people, need to be reassured that the federal government will reaffirm its commitment to aiding the ongoing recovery efforts.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to working with you.