PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — On Wednesday, President Donald J. Trump addressed a crowd of thousands in Panama City Beach. Inside Aaron Bessent Park, most attendees were eager to hear what he had to say about hurricane relief.
Making his first Florida trip of the 2020 campaign, President Trump made many promises to those recovering from Hurricane Michael.
“I was last here in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Michael, you remember, we came. It was pretty bad stuff and I pledged to you, unwavering support,” said the President during his speech.
Support and billions of dollars are two things the president says are coming to the panhandle. “And we will never ever leave your side. We’ve already given you billions of dollars and there’s a lot more coming as you do it.”
In fact, our area has received about $1.1 billion dollars as of mid-April but Congress still hasn’t passed a federal disaster funding bill.
President Trump also addressed the rebuilding of Tyndall Air Force Base.
President Trump said, “and I got a call from your great representatives and they said, ‘President, they want to close Tyndall cause it got beat up badly. It got beat.” I made a couple of calls and I said ‘General, why are we doing that? Those people are incredible.”
Currently, all new base construction is on hold without that disaster funding. According to the official Tyndall website, recovery efforts started the day after the storm. The Secretary of the Air Force announced Tyndall would be rebuilt just 16 days after the storm.
President Trump also had a big announcement for the impacted counties and municipalities.
“Because of the severity of the storm, category 5, we will have the federal government pay for 90% of the costs in many circumstances,” said President Trump.
The 90% reimbursement has been a big concern for local governments struggling to clean-up after Michael. Bay County officials now say the President’s word is good enough for them and they consider the 90/10 split to be official.
The president also promising $448 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development Disaster Recovery to reestablish low-income housing locally.