As the state House plows through a long and potentially expensive menu of options to recover from Hurricane Irma and brace for Florida’s next hurricane, Senate President Joe Negron is confident the storm that walloped the state in September won’t blow a hole in the upcoming budget. But potential public and private costs from Irma are staggering:
— Agriculture officials have estimated Irma caused a $2.5 billion hit on crops and facilities.
— The insurance industry is facing $6.55 billion in property damage claims.
— Utility customers could be asked to pay more than $1 billion to cover the costs of getting power restored.
— The Florida Division of Emergency Management said that as of Dec. 14, federal agencies had provided more than $2.49 billion to help cover Irma-related losses.
State officials have yet to put an overall price tag on Florida’s costs from Irma, which left destruction from the Keys to Jacksonville. Added to that are potential costs from Hurricane Maria, which is impacting Florida as evacuees from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have moved to the state.