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Florida dentists assessing, cleaning up after Hurricane Irma

September 13, 2017

By Kimber Solana

Fallen trees: Dr. Mike Eggnatz, president of the Florida Dental Association, took this photo of a tree that fell on his cars in Cooper City, Fla., following Hurricane Irma. Dr. Eggnatz said tropical force winds blew for about 24 hours as the hurricane reached the state Sept. 10. Photo by Dr. Mike Eggnatz
Cooper City, Fla. — For about 24 hours after Hurricane Irma first reached Florida, tropical force winds up to 110 miles per hour toppled trees, while many of those left standing were stripped of their leaves just outside the home of Dr. Mike Eggnatz, president of the Florida Dental Association.
Many in the state, Dr. Eggnatz said, lost power, some were remained curfew and many experienced flooding.
"We're just glad to be safe," he added. "I was 100 miles from where the eye [of the hurricane] hit and I know other parts of the state — the Keys, Jacksonville — were hit worse."
The Florida Dental Association said it's working on reaching its members to assess and provide any assistance to dentists affected by Hurricane Irma, which made landfall Sept. 10.

As of press time Sept. 12, FDA executive director Drew Eason said it's still too early to have a complete assessment on the storm's impact on FDA members. Mr. Eason said he managed to reach some FDA board members who were thankful the storm didn't hit them as hard as they expected.
A day after Hurricane Irma first reached Florida, Dr. Eggnatz said power was restored, the winds died down and a major clean up was underway. His home in Cooper City, Florida, lost some roof tiles and had some small leaks, and a small tree fell on his car.

"Lots of trees were down and we were cut off from all communications and power," he said. "We just got power back on and are still assessing the damage."

Flooded streets: Streets looked more like rivers in Miami’s Brickell Area as waters rose during Hurricane Irma. Dentists in Florida affected by the hurricane are encouraged to apply for both the ADA Foundation’s Emergency Disaster Grant Program and the Florida Dental Association Foundation’s Disaster Relief Grant Program. Photo by Carlos Marron
In Miami, streets looked more like rivers, according to Dr. Irene Marron-Tarrazzi, ADA first vice president. Dr. Marron-Tarrazzi shared photos and videos showing Brickell Avenue, where her dental practice is located, under water during the storm as fallen trees floated by.

According to news reports, by Sept. 11, Hurricane Irma was blamed for at least four deaths in Florida, in addition to at least 27 people dead across the Caribbean. More than 6.5 million people were advised to evacuate for Hurricane Irma.

The Florida Dental Association sent information on disaster grants in advance of the storm, which caused major devastation in the Caribbean islands, Puerto Rico and Cuba as a Category 4 and 5 storm. The FDA sent out another alert to members Sept. 11 to make sure members know of all resources available to them.
Dentists in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma are encouraged to apply for both the ADA Foundation's Emergency Disaster Grant Program and the Florida Dental Association Foundation's Disaster Relief Grant Program. ADA Foundation applications will be forwarded to the Florida Dental Association with the applicant's consent, streamlining the application process. Each organization provides financial assistance for immediate personal needs such as food, water, clothing, emergency shelter and medications. The ADA Foundation provides up to $2,000 in immediate financial assistance. FDA Foundation grants may not exceed $1,500 per dentist.

Dentists affected by a disaster have up to 60 days to apply for an ADA Foundation Emergency Disaster Assistance Grant.

To apply or to donate, visit and, or contact the ADA Foundation at 1-312-440-2547 or