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Governor Scott Steps In, Directs Help to Leon County, Addresses Mayor Gillum

Posted on September 4, 2016

Governor Scott Steps In, Directs Help to Leon County, Addresses Mayor Gillum

Update

Governor Scott issues press release stating Mayor Gillum has accepted offer of help. See release here.

Original Story

Governor Rick Scott has directed more resources to Leon County even though local officials say their help is not needed.

Noting that more than 33,000 homes and businesses are still without power in the City of Tallahassee and more than 40,000 homes and businesses without power in Leon County, Governor Scott is directing additional resources to the City of Tallahassee which will help quickly restore power.

In a press release, Governor Scott said:

This afternoon, as a matter of public safety, I have directed the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to immediately begin surveying downed power lines throughout Leon County and clearly mark them as a hazard so the public knows to stay away. I am also directing FDOT to survey bus stops, school entrances, hospitals, and medical facilities and report any downed power lines that may be a public safety issue. I hope this will be helpful to the city and county. As I traveled Tallahassee, these issues are still unresolved by city and county government.

He also said:

 Today, I have identified contractors from private companies that can remove downed trees and fallen tree limbs as well as other debris that impacts downed power lines in Tallahassee. These contractors can also provide over- line support to the debris removal crews.

Scott went on to say local officials have declined help from Florida Department of Transportation.

I was also informed this morning that the City of Tallahassee and Leon County have declined further ‘cut-and-toss’ assistance from FDOT to clear debris such as downed trees and fallen tree limbs. I continue to hear from residents that this is needed. FDOT stands ready to continue providing this service to the City and County.

In an issue that is becoming more contentious, Scott addressed Mayor Andrew Gillum specifically:

The residents of Tallahassee deserve nothing less than 100 percent power restoration. I asked Mayor Gillum to let me know today by 8:00 pm if the city will utilize these efforts so we can quickly deploy help to impacted areas.

Check back to Tallahassee Reports for more updates.

17 Responses to Governor Scott Steps In, Directs Help to Leon County, Addresses Mayor Gillum

  1. Paul Gordhay Reply

    September 4, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    I’m glad the Gov can see what I have seen. Yes, the men and women of our local utilities are, in fact, doing their best. But when I hear that help has been turned down because it is “too expensive” and now I hear the Mayor has turned down help from the state, I have to ask myself if this mayor is fit to run this city. Apparently the pension fund can not get “too expensive”, but services that we deserve is, then he is just incompetent.

    • News_Maven Reply

      September 5, 2016 at 9:09 am

      Why didn’t Mayor Gillum call George Soros and ask him to scrounge up a little “pocket change” (say, $500K) to pay for the extra help?

      I’m sure he’s got ol’ George on his speed dial, since that’s his main job.

  2. Sabrina Oven Reply

    September 4, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Our community rallied together today to provide food and beverages in person to our many utility and emergency wotkers and Mayor Gillum was there in person with us. He has been has on and directly involved, working long hours and continually involved. Thank you Mayor Gillum!

    • sari Reply

      September 4, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      I don’t care who shows up in person or not to hand out a hot dog bun. What we need is someone efficient in managing a disaster like this.

    • Jane Reply

      September 4, 2016 at 11:27 pm

      Mayor Gillum passing out weenies.

    • Cynthia Reply

      September 9, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      So THAT’S where the esteemed Mayor was! Now it makes sense. It’s almost comical that someone would think passing out juice (campaigning activity) is more important than staying in a command center and dealing 24/7 with this MAN-made crisis (governing responsibility).

  3. Hope Reply

    September 4, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Thank you Governor Scott!!!

  4. Greg Martin Reply

    September 4, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    I have lived in Tallahassee since 1969 so I’ve seen countless utility outages through the years. During those outages I’d see packs of utility trucks scattered all over. I live in one of the major adversely affected areas but I have seen a grand total of less than 5 utility trucks within 3 miles, and only another 10 or so scattered beyond that. In other words, nowhere near the activity I’d expect to address an 80% outage in a city of our size, especially one being the state Capital with two universities and a state college in their first week of classes. I’d love to see a public records request to illustrate how our Mayor has handled this situation. This smacks of major incompetence, or at the very least very poor judgement.

  5. Lou Ann Reply

    September 4, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Thank you Governor for stepping in and putting some additional resources to work.

  6. Sal Christiano Reply

    September 4, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    As a COT electric customer, I want to thank the team of men from Talquin who worked tirelessly from 8AM in our neighborhood to replace 4 downed poles, yards of cable, at least 2 transformers all while the Asplundh guys removed the offending trees that caused the havoc. They worked through the day, through the afternoon storm and well into the night. After leaving our neighborhood they went out to hiway 90 where they had spent some hours in the early morning clearing the lines that brought power into our community and did some final reconnecting to restore the power just after 9PM. We are a small community of around 50 homes, most of whom are served on Talquin lines by Talquin. Several of my neighbors and I are hybrid customers; we are COT customers served by talquin lines. For the past 18 years I have called the City with outage reports when the moment arises, “We’re sorry, you are on Talquin lines, we can’t be of assistance in this situation,” is the usual response I get. (Remind me again why I pay 25-50% more per Kw hour as my Talquin-serviced neighbors) When I call Talquin, even though I am not on their listings, I am thanked by the representative as they take the call.

    To ALL the men out there from Talquin, Florida Power, Duke, COT, Asplundh, and the other contracted debris specialists… “You guys rock!!! I can’t thank you enough for the work you are doing.

    To Mayor Gillum, Suck it up, smile, accept the help offered graciously, and keep working toward a hopefully quick restoration of all customers.

  7. Lori Reply

    September 4, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    I AM FURIOUS WITH THE CITY OF TALLAHASSEE!!!!! We lost power @ 10:50 Thursday pm. I live in the “Enclave” out Buck Lake Rd., near the intersection of Pedrick. On Friday @ 11:00 am we had to go to the store. While heading toward town on Buck Lake Rd. we witnessed a man cutting a tree up which had fallen across Buck Lake Rd. He was all by himself. I got out of my car and went and took a video of the damage and shared it on FB. It was like a war zone. We must have had a tornado touch down there. We live right around the corner. The power poles were broken in half and dangling by the wires in a number of different places along Buck Lake Rd. Cars were driving over the downed wires. Do you realize that not ONE official of any kind showed up there until late Friday afternoon regardless of the numerous calls to the City of Tallahassee? We didn’t have our power restored until Saturday afternoon. Our home reached 85 degrees. We have many elderly individuals whom were in danger living in this heat. My complaint is that in an area as highly populated as ours, with literally thousands of residents, why did it take this long to get help to us? I now know the answer as stated in the above article. It was because our City of Tallahassee officials refused help. SHAME ON THEM!!!! I think due to this horrible decision we should have a nice size reduction on our next power bill. If you would like to see my video call me @ 850)443-6784 and I will consider sending you a copy of it. Please don’t get me wrong, I am extremely thankful for all of the City of Tallahassee workers, Police, EMT, Firefighters, etc… whom were working diligently for our residents in a timely manner. I also have a complaint/concern re: all of the intersections that I saw with no working traffic lights, why was there not ONE police officer directing traffic, especially @ the highly congested ones like Capital Circle/Apalachee Pkwy, Capital Circle/Mahan, etc? We witnessed many very close accidents due to this and realize there were some.

    I’d like to thank Gov. Rick Scott for allowing all of our hard working State employees to leave work @ noon on Thursday to prepare for the Hurricane and for noticing the danger and struggle our residents were/are in and taking appropriate action by getting us additional assistance.

    • Chad Reply

      September 8, 2016 at 9:37 pm

      Do you realize the situation you described was played out all over Tallahassee, Leon County and surrounding counties? Scores and scores of intersections were without powers. And scores and scores of trees toppled power lines. (By the way, “score” = 20)
      It is stunning to me to hear people complaining like they were the only ones impacted, and that they should get priority in assistance. It was 6 days before we had power restored.

  8. Joe Reply

    September 5, 2016 at 8:04 am

    If our “mayor” spent as much time and effort in restoring power as he does sucking up to Hillary, the city would have had power long ago. Thank you Governor Scott for recogniIng the leadership deficiency in our local government and doing something about it in a direct and effective manner. Governor Scott represents the difference between a leader and a sorry politician.

  9. Preston Scott

    Preston Scott Reply

    September 5, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Let’s be clear on a few things: First, the community is doing what it does – supporting one another; second, line workers from COT and TEC are doing an amazing job under trying and stressful circumstances; third, the Governor identified and his staff problems immediately – likely because they live here and have connections to know what is and is not happening; fourth, the Mayor is running for cover there are quotes from named sources with named outside power providers who offered help and were turned down. The Mayor’s wording is very clever about open to all help – the question is “when”…sources have repeatedly posted that early on help was turned away and the Tampa Bay Times reported he sent crews home early on Friday; fifth, the other local paper is doing all it can to provide cover for local officials. The bottom line is voters had a chance to recently start the change in local government and it did not happen. Only when everyone gets involved and begins to talk with neighbors about the shortcomings downtown will we see this community begin to reach its potential – even in times of crisis.

    • Jane Reply

      September 5, 2016 at 10:27 am

      Preston,
      What we crave, what we need, is a legitimate opposition candidate to rally around. The problem is that everyone who I believe would be a good candidate and a great leader, is also running his or her own successful private business. Every election, Scott Maddox puts his name out there. We need a strong candidate to continue trying each election cycle. Decent, hard working people run once, and when they realize how dirty and nasty it is, they won’t run again. We, the people, are begging for strong leaders, not politicians with bathroom agendas. Really, bathroom agendas, like who can poop in which bathroom. You define the character of a person by how they act when the chips are down. I hope that the response to the storm has shown our local government to be lacking in apathy and understanding for the plight of the common citizen, and has shown the local government’s leadership to be arrogant and self absorbed, seeking to turn any crisis into a political P/R opportunity.

      • Preston Scott

        Preston Scott Reply

        September 5, 2016 at 4:27 pm

        I agree. However, Steven Hougland was a very good candidate. There were others, as well. Smart, articulate and a fiscal conservative. Sadly, the Democrat ran cover for the incumbent and did not report his dishonesty on major issues. Keep supporting the efforts of Tallahassee Reports in every way possible. Get others to read the paper and site. Good candidates need to get busy right now for the next election cycle. The fact is the best time for new leadership to be elected is off-year elections. But candidates must get to parts of the community which vote in lock-step because they do not know how badly they have been let down. The facts what they are, potential candidates need to start “running” right now. Not in a year.

        • Hope Reply

          September 5, 2016 at 4:52 pm

          I agree that the Tallahassee Democrat sabotaged a good candidate and Gannett should hold those accountable. This standard operating procedure of sabotaging good candidates needs to stop. Class action lawsuits may get their attention?

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