Staggering Damage as Michael Plows Through Florida Communities

Dorian Carter looks under furniture for a missing cat after several trees fell on their home during Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Fla., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.

Dorian Carter looks under furniture for a missing cat after several trees fell on their home during Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Fla., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. Gerald Herbert / AP Photo

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Mass. governor: State Police shouldn’t destroy payroll documents … an ‘antsy-pantsy’ mayor in Vermont; and a Utah transit budget boost.

Good morning, it’s Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. Hurricane Michael leads Route Fifty’s state and local government news roundup but scroll down for more stories from places like Montpelier, Vermont (where gubernatorial goodwill is in short supply); Phoenix, Arizona (where water rates are likely to jump) and the 300 block of Hyde Street in San Francisco, California (where you should watch your step).

HURRICANE MICHAEL | The damage in parts of Florida’s panhandle is simply staggering. Hurricane Michael “could go down in the record books as the third-strongest hurricane to hit the continental United States” after coming ashore Wednesday afternoon southeast of Panama City with 155 mph winds—nearly Category 5 strength. Among the hard-hit communities Mexico Beach, Panama City Beach, Apalachicola on the Gulf Coast and even inland in Marianna, about 18 miles south of the Alabama border. “Marianna’s destroyed,” land manager Chad Taylor told The Washington Post. The disaster response is underway. [The Washington Post;  Tampa Bay Times; @FLGovScott]

In Bay County, where the hurricane’s eyewall came ashore, the emergency operations center sustained damage and lacks internet access. [Bay County / Facebook]

Tallahassee, Florida’s capital city, was spared major damage. “Do we feel a little lucky about where we are right now?" asked Leon County Administrator Vince Long. "I think given the magnitude of this storm, the answer is a resounding yes." [Tallahassee Democrat / Tallahassee.com]

There are extensive power outages throughout northwest Florida and into Georgia impacting hundreds of thousands of customers. Some hard-hit areas where Michael came ashore aren’t likely to see power restorations for weeks. [WMMB / MyPanhandle.com; The Atlanta Journal Constitution]

With Michael moving northeast through Georgia and into the Carolinas as a weakened storm, some officials are warning residents not to be tempted by “hurricane fatigue” after Hurricane Florence. Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Steve Benjamin said local officials are “gravely concerned” with what Michael may bring his city. “This is a massive storm. ... The Midlands was particularly fortunate with Hurricane Florence. We don’t want people believing this is a non-event. This is a big deal, and we will prepare accordingly.” [The State]

In other news ...

GOVERNORS | In the Bay State, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday that the Massachusetts State Police may indeed be following standard protocols when destroying old payroll records, but that the agency, which has been embroiled in a massive overtime scandal, “shouldn't be operating under standard operating procedure at this point in time given everything else that's going on with respect to State Police and payroll." [MassLive] … Some observers in Vermont feel that the governor’s staff has “alienated [Gov. Phil] Scott's closest friends in the legislature and sapped him of his greatest asset: goodwill.” [Seven Days] … Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is the nation’s least-popular governor, according to a new Morning Consult poll. (Gov. Baker in Massachusetts is the most popular.) [Morning Consult] … Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is hosting a tech summit at the Tesla Gigafactory in Storey County, near Reno. [KOLO]

Phoenix, Arizona (Shutterstock)

CITY HALLS | The Phoenix City Council voted on Tuesday to advance a plan to increase water rates to a vote in December. If approved, water rates in Phoenix would jump 6 percent in 2019 and another 6 percent in 2020. [Arizona Republic / AZCentral.com] … The 300 block of Hyde Street in San Francisco, a city infamous for its poop, has seen the highest number of complaints about human feces. [The New York Times] … After Burlington, Vermont Mayor Miro Weinberger released a statement expressing frustration with the lack of progress on CityPlace Burlington, the project’s developer, Don Sinex, said the mayor is "antsy pantsy, anxious to see things get started.” [Burlington Free Press] ...

FINANCE | West Virginia State Auditor John McCuskey wants all of the state’s 55 county governments to post their spending data to a new website, WVcheckbook.gov [WVVA; WVcheckbook.gov] … Officials in Lynn, Massachusetts need to borrow an additional $500,000 to balance the city’s budget [Daily Item]

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | According to a new research from Richard Florida and Ian Hathaway: “The U.S. still accounts for roughly half of all venture-capital investment in high-tech startups. But if the trend continues as it has, it is more likely than ever that the next game-changing innovation will be launched not in Silicon Valley, Boston, Seattle, or New York, but in Shanghai, Bangalore, London, Berlin, or Tel Aviv.” [CityLab] … Feeling tariff pains, Ford Motor Co. is planning major layoffs in its global workforce as part of a planned reorganization to improve the “fitness” of the automotive manufacturer. [NBC News] … The Nebraska Chamber of Commerce is promoting its Blueprint Nebraska statewide economic development program. “While our economy is growing—there’s no doubt about that—it’s growing slowly,” a Chamber official said at a recent meeting. [Beatrice Daily Sun]

DISASTER RECOVERY | North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday proposed a $1.5 billion Hurricane Florence flood recovery fund and plans to ask for a $750,000 “down payment” when the state legislature returns to Raleigh for a special session. [@NCCapitol / WRAL] … What can Hawaii learn from Puerto Rico’s difficult recovery from Hurricane Maria? [Honolulu Civil Beat]

TRANSPORTATION | Straphangers in New York City may be dreading the looming 15-month closure of the 14th Street-Canarsie subway tubes that carry the L line under the East River, but there’s some good news for those who navigate the subway on weekends: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the state agency that runs the city’s subways, isn’t planning other track work in Lower Manhattan during the L line’s closure. [Gothamist] … The only non-tolled interstate highway bridge crossing the Ohio River between Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana may have to shut down for two years of major rehabilitation work. [Courier-Journal] … The Utah Transit Authority is proposing a 12.7 percent increase for next year’s budget, thanks to a sales tax increase in Salt Lake County. [The Salt Lake Tribune]

Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.

FEATURED CASE STUDIES
Powered By The Atlas
St. Louis Uses Interactive Kiosks as a Critical COVID-19 Communications Platform
St. Louis, MO, USA
Forecasting Ambulance Needs for the City of San Diego
San Diego, CA, USA
A large urban park creates a "connected" visitor experience with SMART.NODEs™
Sydney NSW, Australia

NEXT STORY: The Sudden, Shocking Growth of Hurricane Michael

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.