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Dunn talks about recovery funds and Tyndall AFB


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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) - As we told you Thursday night on News 13, more than six months after Hurricane Michael hit the Panhandle, the region's leaders and residents continue to be frustrated about the lack of disaster relief from Washington. State leaders Thursday spoke at a news conference in Tallahassee.

Michael created 72 million tons of debris across the Panhandle, about 10 times more than was left by Hurricane Irma in 2017, and most of the debris remains on the ground, raising the threat of wildfires. Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said it feels like the Florida Panhandle has been forgotten.

Friday, Congressman Neal Dunn acknowledged those state efforts, but says it is not known when relief will come. Dunn says, "so, the governor has been great, cabinet has been great, the legislature in Tallahassee has been outstanding. I wish we could get Washington to behave as well. I think the appeals will help...the fact that the governor is banging on the door there really does make a difference. I am grateful for those funds they have appropriated, some of which should have been federal funds. I think we will get something through, but I can't tell when because nobody has ever seen it take this long before."

Dunn says the hold up is with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Until she thinks the relief package is ready to bring to the house floor a vote can't be taken. But, the congressman says he feels the votes to pass the bill will be there when it hits the house floor.

As for the future of Tyndall Air Force Base, Congressman Dunn says the rebuild will happen due to a presidential order. But, it will take longer than anticipated because funding is tied to the end of the fiscal year.. which will delay the funds for another calendar year. That means 2024.

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