Jimmy Patronis, the Florida chief financial officer, told Newsmax that President Joe Biden and Gov. Ron DeSantis have put "politics aside" as they seek to repair Hurricane Ian's devastation.
"This has been a great collaborative effort," Patronis said Wednesday on "The Record with Greta Van Susteren." "Politics aside, people are getting the relief they needed, but the mission has just begun. We have a lot of work left to do."
Patronis also explained the progress being made on restoring power and helping aid Floridians in danger statewide, highlighting the 42,000 linemen and the 16 search and rescue task forces that constitute the largest response team to a U.S. natural disaster ever.
"With that type of preparation also comes rapid response," he stated. "And usually, the last mile is the toughest mile. So, the areas that don't have power are where the grid will need to be rebuilt."
The Florida official drew attention to the state's work with federal disaster relief agencies in restoring the Matlacha Bridge that connects Pine Island to the mainland in "less than 72 hours."
"It has been open for traffic ... this is total credit to Gov. DeSantis, the [Florida Division of Emergency Management Director] Kevin Guthrie," Patronis said.
Guthrie's "team worked around the clock for 48 hours straight, bringing in dirt, bringing in gravel, bringing in milled asphalt. And now, the island is connected back to the mainland, and supplies and rescue efforts are taking place ... without the need of a barge or helicopter," he added.
His comments follow Biden and DeSantis holding a joint press conference pledging in "complete lockstep" to repair and restore Florida together. It comes after over 100 people died and billions in property were destroyed by the Category 4 hurricane.
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