Friday, February 02, 2007

Massive Storms in Florida

A massive storm hit central Florida around 3AM. The link has live video of the extensive damange, press conferences, etc. MSNBC, which I'm watching now, calls it a "super-cell storm," with seven tornados. There are at least 14 confirmed deaths, and many people missing. The damage, as you can see in the pictures below, looks just like the Mississippi coastline did after Katrina, and extends for several counties. Local officials are on the scene and state authorities are arriving, with a focus on search and rescue; they're not waiting for the feds to take charge. "Florida has a different theory on how to do this," says MSNBC, reporting that former Gov. Jeb Bush did not enjoy being told by the fedsd what to do or how to handle these things. This makes sense; Florida has far more experience than other states at dealing with hurricanes and storms. FEMA is still on the way, which is much quicker than their Katrina response time, but then again, MSNBC says some of these towns are still waiting on FEMA money from 1994.

This is the first test of new Gov. Charlie Crist's leadership. He's just starting a press conference, and has declared a state of emergency in four counties (Volusia, Sumter, Lake, and Seminole). Hopefully he'll continue Jeb Bush's disaster response legacy - and hopefully Jeb's brother will sieze this moment to try and redeem himself for ongoing Katrina failures.

Photos From CNN

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