DeSantis Addresses 'Climate Ideology' Amidst Torrential South Florida Flooding

DeSantis Addresses 'Climate Ideology' Amidst Torrential South Florida Flooding

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
June 14, 2024

HOLLYWOOD, FL—Amidst severe South Florida flooding, Sunshine State officials estimate between 100 and 500 Hollywood homes have been affected—an occurrence empowering DeSantis critics who slammed him for his so-called "Don't Say Climate Change" bill.

Beginning Tuesday, a four-day torrent of unrelenting rainfall caused waist-deep waters and canceled flights. A day later, Governor DeSantis declared a state of emergency for four counties—urging residents to stay home—while the Florida Division of Emergency Management deployed over 11,000 feet of flood protection systems, 10 palettes of food, 14 palettes of water, and 90 pumps.

Meanwhile, I-95 was closed for around six hours at the 595 interchange due to flooding, causing the Florida Department of Transportation to run eight water pumps simultaneously to clear up the highway.

On Thursday, the Weather Prediction Center issued a level 4 of 4 flood threat, warning that rainfall will continue through this weekend, though DeSantis is hopeful that this rainfall will be more of a "typical South Florida shower."

"We had a very, very dry spell [for a while]...but it was so much inundation in such a short period of time," DeSantis said at a Friday morning press conference. "We are going to get some more rain this weekend, but hopefully it's not approaching the levels it was."

DeSantis turned to a slew of criticisms hurled his way, telling onlookers that the 19 inches and counting of rain is not unprecedented, but just more noticeable considering Florida's high level of development.

"If you go back through Florida history we've had events like this going back decades of recorded history...There's just a lot more that's been developed so there are a lot more effects that this type of event can have given how Florida has grown," DeSantis said, responding to online backlash over a recently signed bill—nicknamed the "Don't Say Climate Change" measure by critics—removing swaths of climate change references in Florida statute.

"We don't want our energy policy driven by climate ideology. When that happens, people pay more and the energy is less isn't going to prevent us from having tropical weather during the tropical season," he explained, claiming that's why things like natural gas have to be utilized, and that policies reflecting "climate ideology" are actually "damaging and harmful".

The new law isn't the first environmental concern aimed at the Florida Governor—on Wednesday, he signed the new budget for the upcoming year, revealing his 16 pages of line-item vetoes. Among the list was around $205 million in stormwater, wastewater, and sewer projects across the state. Considering South Florida's heavy flooding, critics are slamming the Governor on X to blast what they think is a nonsensical decision.

DeSantis, meanwhile, explained that many of the vetoed projects fall under an already-signed law appropriating millions of Seminole gambling funds to environmental projects.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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