Lt. Governor Toni Jennings, right, along with
U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, addresses the media.
When Lt. Governor Toni Jennings and U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao arrived in the hurricane-ravaged areas of Florida on Wednesday, August 18, 2004, Florida Highway Patrol personnel were on hand to provide additional protection and a special trooper's eye view of the damage and destruction that Charley left behind. Lt. James Porter drove the Lt. Governor through Arcadia so that she could see first-hand the extent of devastation left by the hurricane that hit this area of the Sunshine State over a week ago. Lt. Governor Jennings then boarded a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter, accompanied by Lt. John F. Donavan, to get a panoramic view of the widespread destruction in Charlotte and Lee Counties.
Before leaving the area, Lt. Governor Jennings held a press conference at the Desoto County Courthouse in Arcadia where she stressed that her main focus is to ensure citizens continue to benefit from the pipeline of supplies that are pouring into the area, and that reconstruction efforts in residential areas hardest hit are underway. It is also very important that businesses and schools reopen as soon as possible. Lt. Governor Jennings spoke kind words of compassion and care for the citizens of these hard hit areas, which were welcomed by all.