Florida Residents Point Fingers at DeSantis as They Are Rocked by Brutal Hurricane Season

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: Jul 09, 2024

Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has been heavily criticized by many Florida residents as much of the state is still dealing with massive storms that have left their streets underwater.

As 2024’s hurricane season has already gotten off to a deadly and dangerous start, many are blaming DeSantis for what’s sure to be a difficult summer.

A Once in a Lifetime Weather Event

Just last month, much of Southern Florida experienced what is being called a once-in-a-lifetime weather event after more than 20 inches of rain fell on cities within only one week.

A bench sitting in a flooded tree area in Florida.

Source: Dimitri Lesy/Unsplash

This incredibly strong rainstorm — which was just a simple rainstorm and wasn’t even a tropical storm — left many streets in Miami, Hollywood, and Fort Lauderdale areas flooded.


Florida’s State of Emergency

This record-breaking rainstorm quickly led to the governor declaring a State of Emergency, which allowed the government and first responders to try to better control the disaster.

A road sign seen in flooded waters.

Source: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

This storm brought at least eight inches of rain to Tampa Bay in only three hours. All of these incredibly heavy rainstorms have resulted in weather experts explaining that this event only happens once every 500 to 1000 years.

A Rare Occurrence Becoming Common?

Already, many meteorologists are sounding the alarm and claiming that this once incredibly rare event may now become commonly seen throughout Florida.

People swimming in the ocean as storm clouds roll in, seen in Florida.

Source: Quick PS/Unsplash

As the weather continues to heat up to excessive temperatures thanks to ongoing climate change, this could cause rainstorms to become heavier and more destructive. If there is more heat in the air, more moisture particles can easily form, thereby making storms worse.

DeSantis Refuses to Talk About Climate Change

While many weather experts have opened up about how climate change and high temperatures may bring about worse weather to Florida, DeSantis refuses to even discuss this idea.

Ron DeSantis seen talking in front of a microphone.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

This has infuriated many Florida residents, as they are the ones living through intense flooding and the fearful anticipation of what this year’s hurricane season may bring.

The Don’t Say Climate Change Law

Last month, DeSantis signed a bill into law that completely erased the phrase “climate change” — and anything related to climate change — from Florida law.

A view of a truck driving through flooded waters.

Source: Wade Austin Ellis/Unsplash

This legislation also got rid of an almost two-decade-old policy that prioritized climate change when making energy policy decisions. Critics of this law have coined it the “Don’t Say Climate Change” law.


DeSantis Tours Flooded Areas of Florida

After the rain had subsided, DeSantis toured many of these flooded areas of Florida to express his support and condolences for the situation. However, he refused to talk about climate change.

A person walking through rain by a city street underneath an umbrella.

Source: Osman Rana/Unsplash

While in these devastated areas, DeSantis, said, “We don’t want our energy policy driven by climate ideology.”


DeSantis Counters Critics

DeSantis has hit back at his critics who have blasted him for his statements about climate change, as well as his latest law.

Ron DeSantis speaking into a microphone.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

The governor has insisted that he’s not denying climate change. “It was a substantive piece of legislation to say that in the state of Florida, our energy policy is going to be driven by affordability for Floridians and reliability,” he stated.


Florida’s New Energy Policies

DeSantis has claimed that he wants Florida’s policy to be focused on reliability and lower costs. He has said Florida is not California — and they shouldn’t have the policies that the Golden State does.

Many tall power lines and towers seen during sunset.

Source: Matthew Henry/Unsplash

DeSantis has also suggested that those who have criticized his new policies, which ban offshore wind farms and protect fossil fuels and natural gas pipelines, are being political.


Helping the Fossil Fuel Industry?

Critics have further insinuated that DeSantis doesn’t care about Florida residents at all. Instead, he’s only focusing on helping out those in the fossil fuel, natural gas, and utility industries.

Utility towers and smoke seen during sunset.

Source: Pixabay/Pexels

To these detractors, this is why DeSantis is fighting so much against protecting the environment — and protecting Florida from upcoming natural disasters.


An Upcoming Busy Hurricane Season

DeSantis’ recent comments haven’t assured many Floridians, especially as they’re awaiting a hurricane season that is anticipated to be quite busy and active.

Storm clouds seen over a Florida beach.

Source: Ryan Loughlin/Unsplash

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has already come out to predict that the Atlantic hurricane season will be more active than normal. There’s an 85% chance that up to 25 storms will be named — and 13 hurricanes may occur.


Vetoing Water Projects

Many areas in Florida have long had an issue with flooding. This may get worse, as DeSantis has also vetoed half of the $410 million that has been set aside for water projects in the state, such as stormwater drainage projects.

A drain seen in the road in Florida.

Source: Mick Haupt/Unsplash

Many are worried this could lead to Florida flooding even more, especially during hurricane season. Florida State Senator Jason Pizzo recently went after DeSantis for this move, saying, “As I’m sitting here stuck on a Brightline train because of flooding in my district, all those storm water projects he cut look pretty stupid right now.”