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Friday, June 10, 2005

Another hurricane season begins

And Florida still hasn't recovered from last year:
For thousands of Floridians, though, the 2004 hurricanes still linger. In Pensacola, so many homes were destroyed or damaged that Rebuild Northwest Florida, a non-profit public-private partnership helping those in need, is considering buying a home manufacturing plant. "We believe we will be in the recovery process for another four years," Fogg says.

Across the state, about 9,800 people are still living in temporary trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, says spokeswoman Nicol Andrews.

In Punta Gorda, devastated by Hurricane Charley, city employees recently got stress management training to prepare for the new storm season, city manager Howard Kunik says. Neither of the town's two major hotels have reopened yet and children at three of the four schools are still attending classes in trailers. "There's a lot of rebuilding to be done," Kunik says.

That's also true in Lake Wales in part of central Florida struck by Charley, Frances and Jeanne. Insurance agent Joe Webb finally got his office up and running three weeks ago. At home, he got a new roof in January, but contractors just started doing interior work last week.

"The contractors are all exhausted," he says. "We're all exhausted."
McMansions being built all over the friggin' place, and there aren't enough builders to repair hurricane-damaged buildings? Maybe if Florida hadn't chased all of the out-of-state "gougers" out last year the repairs could have been finished by now. Florida even has a law against selling things for more than the "normal" price during a state of emergency, and unlike laws against vote fraud and harboring terrorists, Florida enforces this law.

I'm the only pro-gouging blogger I know of. Here are my two posts from last year which explain why.