Today: Florida Gov. Scott in San Juan, meeting with Puerto Rico governor

Florida National Guard Adjutant General Major General Michael Calhoun with Gov. Rick Scott in Opa-locka after Hurricane Irma. Calhoun is among those accompanying Scott to Puerto Rico today.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is visiting Puerto Rico today  to assist Hurricane Maria recovery efforts and has a 10 a.m. meeting scheduled with Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio visited Puerto Rico on Monday and told his Senate colleagues: “What I saw is over three and half million American citizens potentially on the verge of a serious and growing humanitarian crisis.”

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, a potential Democratic candidate for governor in 2018, visited Puerto Rico Wednesday.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit the island Tuesday.

Click here for a full story on today’s Scott visit.

Hurricane Irma: Sens. Bill Nelson, Marco Rubio are bipartisan disaster buddies

Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson in Belle Glade on Wednesday. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

BELLE GLADE — Glades residents who lined up Wednesday for a hot meal and some bottled water after Hurricane Irma also got a chance to interact with both of Florida’s U.S. senators.

“This is bipartisanship here,” Florida Democratic Sen.  Bill Nelson proclaimed Wednesday as he and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio stopped by a food and water distribution center for Irma victims.

Rubio and Nelson also visited citrus growers in Lake Wales and Ave Maria University students in Immokalee on Wednesday.

The pair flew together on a Coast Guard plane on Monday to survey damage in the Keys. They planned to meet at an emergency operations center in Jacksonville on Tuesday, but missed each other by about 30 minutes.

Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson hand out meals in Belle Glade on Wednesday. That’s former Palm Beach County Commissioner Warren Newell next to Rubio and County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, who represents the Glades, next to Nelson. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

The working relationship between Rubio and Nelson could take some of the partisan edge off next year’s expected challenge to Nelson by Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Last year, when Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy challenged Rubio for re-election, Nelson came to Rubio’s defense after Murphy accused him of failing to deliver on federal money to fight the Zika virus.

 

 

Hurricane Irma: What Trump Org says about Mar-a-Lago, Florida golf courses

Here’s a post-Irma look at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club from Ocean Boulevard on Monday. (Rich Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)

At least five of President Donald Trump‘s properties were in the path of Hurricane Irma.

His Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter,  Trump National Doral near Miami and Chateau des Palmiers on the Caribbean island of St. Martin were all touched by the storm.

Click here for details on what the Trump Organization is saying about Irma and the president’s properties.

Hurricane Irma: Gov. Rick Scott activates 900 more Florida National Guard troops

By Friday, 7,000 National Guard members will be activated in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott says.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott this morning activated 900 members of the Florida Army and Air National Guard to prepare for Hurricane Irma.

Click here for unparalleled Hurricane Irma coverage.

About 100 National Guard members had already been activated in Florida.

The newly activated personnel will help with planning, support and logistics.

Another 6,000 National Guard members will report for duty no later than Friday, the governor’s office said.

The activations follow Scott’s Monday declaration of a state of emergency in all 67 Florida counties.

Said Scott: “Hurricane Irma is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening Category 5 storm and the state is aggressively preparing to ensure families are safe as we prepare for a possible landfall. The brave men and women of the Florida National Guard are incredibly important to executing emergency preparedness and response actions across the state and I will continue to activate more members as needed. These members will be in place to help with evacuations and sheltering, as well as the coordination of search and rescue with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. National Guard members will also be assisting utility companies following the storm as they respond to return power to homes and businesses.”

Hurricane Irma: Sen. Bill Nelson to visit Palm Beach County’s EOC today

Bill Nelson (left) and Hurricane Irma

As Hurricane Irma churns toward Florida, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson will visit Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties today to check on storm preparations.

Get Irma updates throughout the day at The Palm Beach Post’s WeatherPlus blog.

Nelson is scheduled to meet with Miami-Dade emergency managers at the county’s Emergency Operations Center in Doral at 10 a.m.

Weather reporter Kimberly Miller’s Twitter feed is a must-follow at @KMillerWeather.

Nelson will meet with Palm Beach County emergency management officials at 2 p.m. at the county’s EOC near Military Trail and Southern Boulevard in unincorporated West Palm Beach.

 

 

Hurricane Irma: Former Gov. Bob Graham plans to stay in Miami-Dade, daughter Gwen says

Former Florida Gov. and Sen. Bob Graham with daughter Gwen Graham at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

BOCA RATON — Former Florida Gov. and Sen. Bob Graham and wife Adele so far aren’t interested in daughter Gwen Graham‘s suggestion that they leave their home in Miami Lakes as Hurricane Irma moves toward Florida.

“I hope everybody is heeding advice to make your plans now, prepare and evacuate if this is something that potentially is going to hit where you live,” former Democratic U.S. Rep. Graham, a candidate for governor, said during a campaign stop today.

Gwen Graham, a Tallahassee resident, said she talked to her mother this morning and asked if her parents wanted to come along when she goes back north later this week.

“Maybe I’ll have my parents in my car with me but right now they’re planning on staying in their home in Miami Lakes,” Gwen Graham said.

A Gwen Graham spokesman said later that Bob and Adele Graham “live outside current and likely evacuation zones” in Miami Lakes.

 

 

Hurricane Irma: Trump offers ‘full resources’ in call with Florida Gov. Scott

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency and President Donald Trump has pledged “the full resources of the federal government” to help the state prepare for Hurricane Irma.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for all 67 counties in the state on Monday afternoon and spoke with President Donald Trump by telephone late Monday night as Category 4 Hurricane Irma barrels westward with Florida in its potential path.

Part-time Palm Beach resident Trump and Scott spoke at 10:20 p.m. Monday, according to the governor’s office.

“Just spoke to @POTUS – he offered the full resources of the federal government as Floridians prepare for Hurricane Irma,” Scott tweeted afterward.

Follow The Palm Beach Post’s incomparable Kimberly Miller for Hurricane Irma coverage.

Her must-follow Twitter feed is @KMillerWeather.

 

‘Are we ready?’ Scott asks about Lake O dike fix following Harvey devastation

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission personnel have helped rescue 200 people from Texas floods, the FWC said today. (Photo provided by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

WEST PALM BEACH — Epic flooding in Texas from Hurricane Harvey underscores the need to repair the Herbert Hoover dike around Lake Okeechobee, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said today during a visit here to announce a business expansion.

 

“Our prayers go out to everyone there” in Texas, said Scott, who has deployed Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers and equipment to Texas.

FWC said Tuesday that it has helped rescue 200 people from rising waters after sending more than 125 officers, 40 boats, 17 high-water vehicles, two mobile command centers and eight shallow draft vessels to Texas.

Scott said he spoke Monday with Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon about Florida’s readiness for massive rainfall. Between mid-Friday and mid-Monday, some areas around Houston were deluged with more than 40 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.

“If we had 40 inches of rain, in let’s say the Palm Beach-to-Miami area, are we ready?” Scott said he asked Koon. “He’s assured me that we work our plans all the time, we do drills every year and we’re ready. And I hope it never happens here.”

Scott this year pushed for $50 million in the state budget to “jumpstart” a $930 million U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan to upgrade the earthen dike around Lake Okeechobee by 2025. Scott wants the project complete by 2022 and says he hopes the state will get reimbursed by the federal government for its expenditures.

Scott said the Texas flooding “just shows you the importance of it. We have thousands of people that live south of the dike. Unfortunately under Barack Obama we didn’t get the money to really fix the dike. President Trump has committed that he’s going to be a partner to get it done.”