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Governor, FEMA Come To Town

Christy Ball's Piedmont Road home suffered major damage in last week's flood. She attracted a crowd as she talked to the Governor and other city and county officials about what she and many other Pensacola residents are up against. Ball said she's been spending thousands of dollars out of pocket just to begin repairs to her home.

Credit Bob Barrett / WUWF News
Governor Rick Scott talking to reporters on Piedmont Road in Pensacola

Governor Rick Scott returned to Pensacola Thursday morning to speak to tour the flood damaged Piedmont Road neighborhood...as well as talk to business owners and welcome FEMA representatives to the area. The Governor along with Mayor Ashton Hayward, Senator Don Gaetz and other officials walked down Piedmont Road, and area Mayor Hayward called "ground zero" for the storm.

Gracia Szczech, a representative with FEMA was with the governor as he toured the area. She made sure Ball and other homeowners knew how to get the process of recovery started. Governor Scott expressed confidence in FEMA and in local agencies to not only rebuild, but to work to prevent future damage.

Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward led the Governor through the neighborhood, introducing workers and residents and making sure the full impact of the storm hit home.

Credit Bob Barrett / WUWF News
Piedmont Road homeowner Christy Ball attracted a crowd while telling Governor Scott and other officials the financial hardships of the flood.

After the tour city and county officials joined the Governor at Hopjacks Restaurant in downtown Pensacola to meet with business owners affected by the flood.

Disaster recovery centers should be open and operational around the area by Sunday. Mayor Hayward says FEMA's presence in town is an important step.

And on top of everything else Mother nature may be coming back into the picture soon.  After a week of mostly dry weather, there are flash flood watches in effect for the weekend as more rain is expected to fall.

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.