Florida Official Blames Lack of Power for Slow Recovery

Broward County, Fla., endured some of the worst Hurricane Wilma had to offer, and the county's mayor, Kristin Jacobs, blames the lack of power for the slow recovery effort.

Right now, 77 percent of the county's 642,000 residents are still without power.

"You have to understand that we've suffered incredible damage and that it's only been four days," Jacobs said. "We're all scrambling, and FEMA is scrambling with us.

"But it's getting better," she added. "[There are] fewer lines for water. And in terms of gas, it's not about supply, the problem is [getting the gas to] the end user. The gasoline facilities don't have all their generators yet."

The lack of electricity prevents businesses from getting up and running, while the lack of gas keeps people from being able to commute. Florida Power and Light said it restored power to 46 percent of those who had lost it.

"I would say people could deal without the power if we had gas," Jacobs said.

The mayor herself is among the 3.5 million people in Florida who are still without power. She and her family, including three children, ages 11, 17 and 20, share their neighbor's generator to run their refrigerator and lamp.

Jacobs does not expect her county to get power until Nov. 22.

Wilma is blamed for the death of 14 Floridians and the aftermath continues to take a toll on the state's elderly.

"A lot of seniors are isolated and some of them don't know how to use generators," Jacobs said.

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