Scott pushing counties to remove Irma debris

Implying debris is hindering the restoration of electricity and other relief efforts, Gov. Rick Scott set a noon Tuesday deadline for Florida counties impacted by Hurricane Irma to submit detailed debris-removal plans.

“Today, more than 370,000 homes and businesses in Florida are still without power and while utility companies are working non-stop to turn the lights on, the presence of debris can hinder work and delay restoration which is unacceptable,” Scott said in a prepared statement.

As of noon Monday, nearly 4 percent of the homes and businesses in Florida were without power. Scott intends to post each county's debris-removal efforts, including estimated dates of completion, on the Division of Emergency Management's website.

He said that seven hours after Irma left the state on Sept. 11, the state Department of Transportation “had cleared all major interstates” and turnpikes.

“Every county should already have a debris clean-up plan in place as part of its emergency response plan and it should already be executed,” Scott said. “Any county experiencing issues with the vendors involved in debris clean-up should immediately execute an emergency procurement to get a different vendor.”