Two members of the Flagler County Emergency Management Department traveled to Madison County, Florida on Wednesday to assist in the recovery from Hurricane Idalia. Located on the Florida panhandle against the Florida-Georgia border, Madison County sustained severe damages during Idalia’s impact – much worse than what Flagler County itself received.
Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord and Planner Nealon Joseph left for Madison County almost immediately after things returned to normal at the Emergency Operations Center in Bunnell. The duo took the Field Operations Trailer and embarked at around 5:30 pm, arriving before nightfall according to a summary from the county.
“We have a great team, dedicated to their work,” said Flagler County Administrator Heidi Petito. “Flagler County was fortunately spared, and we are extremely grateful for that. Jonathan Lord and his staff were prepared to work and didn’t hesitate for a moment to answer the request from Madison County.”
While there, Lord and Joseph will assist in critical recovery efforts for those who were put in harm’s way by Hurricane Idalia, playing a crucial role helping the community regain its footing. The county has a population of just under 18,000 according to the 2020 U.S. census, many of whom are without power or even homeless altogether.
Officials from the state and various county levels have deployed to Madison County and the surrounding area in the days since Hurricane Idalia moved through earlier this week. With the 2023 hurricane season still very much in effect, the importance of ushering in a quick recovery is especially important for responders like Lord and Joseph.
“We are always more than willing to send support to others during their time of need,” Petito said after the storm passed through. “So much of our state was devastated yesterday, and we want to do whatever we can to help.”