$126 Million In Private Property Damage In Escambia County From Hurricane Sally

September 29, 2020

Escambia County and the City of Pensacola are estimating $126 million in damage to private property from Hurricane Sally.

Damage estimates in Escambia County are approximately $111 million and damage estimates in the City of Pensacola are $15.69 million.

“This is a conservative damage estimate because it only includes destroyed and major damage (not minor or affected), the valuation from the property appraiser is utilized, and assessments are continuing throughout the county and city,” according to Escambia County.

In the county and city, 44 buildings were destroyed, 629 have major damage, 915 have minor damage and 168 have been affected. To date, a total of 1,756 structures were damaged throughout the county.

Private property includes single-family homes, multi-family homes, mobile homes and businesses.

Tuesday: Large Number Of Test Results Reported Locally With Low COVID-19 Positivity Rate

September 29, 2020


On a day where with one of the largest single day number of tests results reported in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, the COVID-19 positivity rate was at a low of 2.2%.

On Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health reported three additional deaths and 89 new COVID-19 cases total in the two counties.

Here is the latest data:

Escambia County cases:

Total cases: 12,319 (+70)
Non-Florida residents: 1,111
Total deaths: 230 (+2)
Long-term care facility deaths : 109
Current hospitalizations: 49 (+2)
Number of tests last day: 2,896
Percent positive last day: 2.2%
Percent positive last week: 3.5%

Escambia County cases by location:

Pensacola: 9,027 (+60)
Century: 933 (+2)
—-including 773 Century prison inmates
Cantonment: 913 (+4)
Molino: 145
McDavid: 73
Walnut Hill: 18
Bellview: 16
Gonzalez: 7
Perdido Key: 7

Santa Rosa County cases:

Total cases: 5,331 (+19)
Non-Florida residents: 49
Total deaths: 77 (+1)
Long-term care facility deaths: 17
Cumulative Hospitalizations: 314*
Number of tests last day: 790
Percent positive last day: 2.2%

Santa County cases  by location:

Milton: 2,796 (+4)
Gulf Breeze: 772 (+6)
Navarre: 666 (+1)
Pace: 439 (+6)
Jay: 149 (+1)
Bagdad: 12

Florida cases:

Total cases: 704,568
Florida residents: 696,171
Deaths: 14,143
Hospitalizations: 43,855*

*“Hospitalizations” in the statewide and Santa Rosa County totals is a count of all laboratory confirmed cases in which an inpatient hospitalization occurred at any time during the course of illness. Most of these people are longer be hospitalized. The FDOH does not provide a count of patients currently hospitalized. The Escambia County number is current data compiled each day from the local hospitals.

*The Florida Department of Health does not have a clear standard or definition of “recovered” and does not report a number of recovered individuals.

**Data Sources: Florida Department of Health, Escambia County, City of Pensacola, local hospitals.

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, Rep. Matt Gaetz Talk Hurricane Sally Damage With Local Farmers

September 29, 2020

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue toured Hurricane Sally damage on Monday.

After touring farms in Baldwin County, Perdue joined Rep. Matt Gaetz at Jenkins Farm on Darney Road in Jay where they saw damage to the cotton crop and heard concerns from Northwest Florida farmers during a roundtable meeting.

“I’m inspired to come by here and see people like this who’ve been knocked down, who are willing to get back up and keep on going,” said Perdue. “We’re going to everything at USDA to help them survive and eventually thrive again.”

“Florida’s Panhandle has suffered greatly from natural disasters since 2018, especially our proud farmers and ranchers. Many of the same communities impacted by Hurricane Sally were also devastated by Hurricane Michael, for which help has been slow in coming,” Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said. I’m glad that Secretary Perdue saw the damage first-hand. I hope he’ll tell the President that these folks need help now, and to expand his disaster declaration to include individual assistance for all affected counties. They’ve already waited two years for Hurricane Michael aid, and as we wait for Governor DeSantis to ask for the USDA’s help, it’s not fair that North Floridians are made to wait any longer.”

Fried recently got a first hand look at the Hurricane Sally damage in North Escambia and northern Santa Rosa County while meeting with farmers in Walnut Hill and Jay.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Today Is The Last Day To Apply For Escambia CARES Family Emergency Financial Assistance Grants

September 29, 2020


The application period closes at 8 p.m. Tuesday for Escambia CARES Family Emergency Financial Assistance Grants.

Applications will be accepted online at myescambia.com/CARES and at several physical locations throughout the county.

Those needing assistance or who do not have access to the internet and wish to apply with paper forms instead of online can visit one of the 10 fully-staffed application assistance centers located throughout the county, with at least one location available in each district.

These locations will be staffed for in-person application assistance Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Beulah Senior Citizens Center, 7425 Woodside Drive
  • Brownsville Community Center, 3200 W. DeSoto St.
  • Carver Park Resource Center, 208 Webb St.
  • Century Branch Library, 7991 N. Century Blvd.
  • Dorrie Miller Community Center, 2819 N. Miller St.
  • Escambia County Extension Services, 3740 Stefani Road
  • Gull Point Community Center, 7000 Spanish Trail
  • Marie K. Young Wedgewood Community Center, 6405 Wagner Road
  • Molino Community Center, 6450 Highway 95-A North
  • Walnut Hill Community Center, 7850 Highway 97 North

Escambia County has allocated more than $3.5 million of CARES Act funding to provide grants of $2,000 each to families who have been impacted by COVID-19 and need of assistance. Escambia CARES Family Emergency Financial Assistance Grants will be dispersed on a first-qualified, first-served basis.

To be eligible for the Escambia CARES Family Emergency Financial Assistance Grant, applicants must:

  • Be residents of Escambia County.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a household income of $45,000 or less.
  • Have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

To apply for the Escambia CARES Family Emergency Financial Assistance Grant, applicants will need to provide:

  • Certification of COVID-19 impact
  • Copy of a valid, state-issued ID
  • Copy of Social Security card or other proof of a Social Security number
  • Tax-Filers: Copy of the first page of their 2019 federal tax return (IRS form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ)
  • Non-Tax Filers: Self-Certification letter stating why you did not file a 2019 Federal Income Tax Return and/or the type of income you received – Social Security Benefits (SSA, SSI/SSD), Railroad Retirement, Veterans Affairs Pension, Disability Benefits, etc.
  • A completed W-9 form. Click here for the fillable W-9 Form.

For more information on the Escambia Cares Family Emergency Financial Assistance Grant, visit the program’s list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Century Fails To Approve Property Tax Increase, New Budget After Council Members Skip Meeting

September 29, 2020

The Town of Century was unable to approve a new budget and tax increase after two council members did not attend a Monday night meeting.

In order to approve the property tax increase a two-thirds majority of four of the  five members was required.

Council member James Smith did not attend the meeting in person or via Zoom, and officials said he did not contact the town in advance with any reason. Council member Sandra McMurray-Jackson was unable to attend due to a medical emergency, according to council President Ann Brooks.

With just three members present for the meeting, the council could not take a vote. They will try again on Monday, October 5, days after the town’s new budget year begins on October 1.

The town is considering a $4.14 million budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021, up from $3.63 million during the current fiscal year. The tentative millage rate of .9204 is about 5% greater than the rolled-back rate of .8759.

The rolled-back rate is the tax rate that would generate the same amount of property tax revenue as approved for the prior year.  A millage rate higher than the rolled-back rate is defined by Florida law as a tax increase.

Cooler Fall Weather Arrives: Highs In The 70s, Lows In The 50s

September 29, 2020

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

Tuesday Night: Clear, with a low around 52. Northwest wind around 5 mph.

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 76. Calm wind becoming northwest around 5 mph in the morning.

Wednesday Night: Clear, with a low around 54. Calm wind.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 82. Calm wind becoming west around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Thursday Night: Clear, with a low around 54. North wind around 5 mph.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 74. North wind 5 to 10 mph.

Friday Night: Clear, with a low around 46. North wind around 5 mph.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 75.

Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 50.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 79.

Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 55.

Monday: Sunny, with a high near 81.

FDOT Begins Demolition On Damaged Pensacola Bay Bridge; Updates Latest Repair Info

September 29, 2020

Demolition efforts got underway Monday on the Hurricane Sally and barge damaged areas of the Pensacola Bay Bridge as the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) statewide team of bridge experts are nearing the conclusion of inspecting and assessing the structure.

“Once the situation is fully assessed, and damages are fully understood, appropriate parties will be held responsible for the repairs,” FDOT said in a statement Monday.

The survey of the piers and topside inspections have been completed along with most of the underwater footings. The priority demolition efforts are focused on the areas that need to be cleared for dive access to examine the final 22 footings below the waterline. The contractor is utilizing additional resources to expedite demolition.

Three of the Skanska’s barges remain on or under the bridge and the removal of those barges will have to be done with great caution, according to FDOT. Skanska has prioritized the removal of the barges and will work closely with FDOT to ensure the least amount of additional damage possible to the bridge in this effort.

The design is underway for the permanent repairs and reestablishment of four lanes of traffic on the bridge. Durability, and ensuring there is absolutely no reduction in the bridge’s strength as a result of the repairs, remains paramount in the design plans, FDOT said.

FDOT hopes to have the final total number of the spans/piers that will ultimately need to be replaced by the end of this week, Skanska has already fabricated 25 beams and the piers needed to begin repairs. The contractor has also begun constructing more replacement beams and piers at its offsite yard and has reached out to other facilities to assist in production. This aggressive effort will allow the installation of these items to commence as soon as demolition of the damaged items are complete.

Further preliminary inspection findings include:

To date, FDOT divers have inspected 202 underwater footings while top side inspection teams have assessed 105 spans, 202 piers and 525 beams.
The number of spans requiring full replacement remains at five and FDOT has identified an additional two that will require partial replacement.
FDOT will have to replace a number of beams and is still determining the specific number needing replacement.

FDOT and its partners have made the reopening of the Pensacola Bay Bridge a top priority with numerous efforts underway, but the bridge will remain closed until further notice.

Motorists should continue to use all available detour routes, which include the Garcon Point Bridge and State Road 87. At this time, tolls on the Garcon Point Bridge have been suspended through 6 a.m., Friday, October 23.

ECUA Trash Collection May Run A Day Behind This Week

September 29, 2020

The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority may be running behind schedule by a day or so this week due to increase collections

“ECUA is experiencing very high levels of household garbage, yard waste, and bulk waste items as a result of Hurricane Sally. ECUA collected a record-breaking 2,224 tons of waste the week after the hurricane, 49% more than the previous week (1508 tons), and we expect to break this record yet again with this week’s collections,” ECUA Public Information Officer  Nathalie Bowers said. “While we have returned to a normal collection schedule, we anticipate that collections will begin to fall behind by one day.”

She said the delays are because:

  • High collection volumes (trucks fill up faster and need to make more trips to the landfill, taking more time to complete their route).
  • The County’s contracted storm debris crews are also using the Perdido Landfill and all vehicles are currently experiencing significantly longer wait times to enter and dispose of the materials at the landfill.
  • Some streets and roads (or portions thereof) are still inaccessible to sanitation collection vehicles due to increased traffic, debris, or downed utilities, slowing down the collection process or requiring a second pass.

“If any waste collections are missed, it is likely that the truck did not finish its daily route. Be assured that the truck will complete its route the next day,” Bowers said.

In Escambia County, all collections will completed by Saturday. Collections in Santa Rosa County will be caught up by Wednesday and Saturday. If a collection has not been completed within these time parameters, customers are asked to contact the ECUA Customer Service Department by calling (850) 476-0480 or via email at customer.service@ecua.fl.gov.

Pre-Order The New Blue Angels License Plate Today

September 29, 2020

The new Blue Angels license plate is available for pre-order.

Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 1135 into law, approving the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation’s Blue Angels specialty license plate. The plate features four blue and gold F/A-18s between the words “Florida” and “Home of the Blue Angels.”

The Department of Motor Vehicle’s process to establish a new specialty license plate requires the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation to sell 3,000 vouchers. The voucher is redeemable for the plate once the sale requirement has been met and the plates are in production. This is accomplished by pre‑sale of a voucher that indicates drivers will purchase the plate. Purchasing a voucher ensures the plate will go into production as quickly as possible.

The Escambia County Tax Collector, in partnership with the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, is offering online pre-deposits to collect all 3,000 commitments or more prior to the official release on October 1.

The $30 vouchers are available to Floridians in all counties for presale exclusively through the Escambia County Tax Collector’s website. Please visit https://escambiataxcollector.com/voucher for more information and to make your purchase.

The Naval Aviation Museum Foundation is offering numbered Commemorative Challenge Coins to the first 3,000 Floridians who purchase a voucher from the Escambia County Tax Collector’s website. The 1.5-inch antique bronze coin showcases the Blue Angels crest on the front and the words, “I Helped Make History” on the back. This exclusive coin is a way to thank those who helped make the Blue Angels license plate a reality for the State of Florida.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm throughout the state about this tag,” said Duane Thiessen, President and CEO of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. “Revenues generated from the plate will support STEM education programs and ensure the next generation of children and adults have access to our unique collection of aircraft and exhibits,” said Thiessen.

To pre-order go online to https://escambiataxcollector.com/voucher. On after October 16, 2020, visit any Florida tax collector’s office to purchase a voucher. If purchased through the Escambia County Tax Collector portal, Floridians will receive a receipt for payment by email. Shortly thereafter, they will receive a second email from the Escambia County Tax Collector’s office to secure additional details about their purchase and the intended recipient.

“Escambia County is blessed to be the home of the world-class National Naval Aviation Museum and National Flight Academy. We are proud to partner with the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation to promote this plate and honor all naval aviators on whose shoulders both institutions were built. The purchase of a Blue Angels specialty plate is an investment in our community and our children,” said Escambia County Tax Collector Scott Lunsford.

Job Fair Tuesday: Debris Monitors Being Hired In Escambia County At $1,000 A Week

September 28, 2020


Applications are once again being accepted for debris monitors in Escambia County. The job pays $1,000 per week for 12 hours per day, seven days a week, according to Escambia County.

A job fair will be held  Tuesday from noon until 4 p.m. at the Escambia County Central Office Complex at 3363 West Park Place.


  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be able to read, write and speak in English
  • Must have a valid driver license and safe driving history
  • Must have your own working vehicle and cell phone
  • Must have the ability to work in the outside elements for long periods of time (this may include standing outside for the duration of daily debris removal (rain or shine)
  • Must have a flexible schedule with the availability to work up to 12 hours a day and seven days a week; may be required to work some days in excess of 12 hours
  • Must be able to travel to various work locations within the recovery area
  • Must have high school diploma, GED, or equivalent
  • Must pass random drug screening
  • Provide proof of citizenship or authorization to work in the U.S.

For more information and to apply, click here.

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