FEMA to provide Lee Health with $11.6 million for storm recovery; federal Ian response eclipses $3 billion

by | Dec 2, 2022

  • FEMA announced on Friday that it is awarding $11.6 million to Lee Health, one of Southwest Florida’s biggest healthcare providers 
  • Lee Health sustained damages across several of its facilities including a partially removed roof of its HealthPark center
  • FEMA also granted $7.6 million to the town of Fort Myers Beach 
  • Estimated preliminary insured losses from the storm sit in the range of $50-65 billion

Sen. Marco Rubio announced on Friday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is awarding $11.6 million to Lee Health for emergency protective measures following the destructive landfall of Hurricane Ian.

Lee Health, one of Southwest Florida’s most widespread healthcare providers, was forced to evacuate patients from several of its facilities as it endured wind damage, including more than 500 square feet of its HealthPark center’s roof coming off.

“All Lee Health hospitals, as well as Lee Health Coconut Point, are currently on lockdown. That means the entrances have been locked for the safety of our patients and staff within,” the healthcare provider posted to Facebook during the storm. “Lee Health urges community members to shelter in place to avoid injury from dangerous conditions. Lee Health hospitals will reopen after the storm passes and the roads are clear.”

The storm brought catastrophic damage to the region with some areas reporting flood waters as high as 12 feet, wiping away buildings, homes, and incapacitating healthcare operations.

Concurrent with Lee Health’s monetary award, FEMA announced that it is providing the town of Fort Myers Beach with more than $7.6 million, also for storm response efforts.

In response, more than $3 billion in federal grants, disaster loans, and flood insurance payments have now been provided to the state of Florida and to households after Hurricane Ian to help survivors recover.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Nov. 21 extended an Ian state of emergency by 60 days, in part because “the scope and scale of the destruction in Southwest Florida is immense and unprecedented” and “those affected by this disaster require the continued support of the state.”

FEMA said in late November that the National Flood Insurance Program has paid more than $793 million to people who sustained damage in Hurricane Ian, with the total steadily increasing. The program has received about 44,700 claims from the storm.

A new report from one of the world’s leading industry analytics companies estimates Hurricane Ian to be the second-costliest insured loss ever, second only 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.

The report, issued by Zurich-based Swiss Re, estimated preliminary insured losses in the range of $50-65 billion.


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