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Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell


Hurricane Idalia kicks FEMA while it’s down

With Hurricane Idalia hitting the Gulf Coast of Florida and Georgia, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is readying its response but finding itself stretched thin.

Idalia weakened from a category 4 to a category 1 storm before making landfall but still plagued the Sunshine State with severe flooding. It is moving through Georgia and up through the Carolinas, with local officials warning of potentially catastrophic storm surges from rising waters.

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Republican presidential candidate and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.


DeSantis in a storm

Hurricane Idalia is set to make landfall on Wednesday in the US state of Florida. The storm will be the first of many this hurricane season, but it blows in at a sensitive political moment for state Gov. Ron DeSantis. The woke-bashing Republican is currently a distant second to Donald Trump for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, but he’s also fending off an increasingly stiff challenge from the youthful upstart conservative tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. (Poll numbers here.)

If DeSantis handles Idalia well, it’ll enable him to look experienced and presidential, drawing a contrast with Ramaswamy’s scant political experience. Of course, if DeSantis flubs it, Idalia could deal a crippling blow to his campaign.

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