Hurricane Irma

Global warming is likely contributing to record-breaking heat in South Florida: 2015 and 2017 tied for the hottest year since regional record-keeping began in the 1800s, and temperatures in the early part of 2018 are setting records, too.

Hurricane Irma uprooted homes and lives in the Florida Keys when it tore through the state last September. The storm also wreaked less visible havoc in many of Florida's low-income communities, where people without cars or living paycheck-to-paycheck struggled to buy food and supplies, and experienced extended power outages.

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Florida farmers awaiting federal disaster relief to help cover losses from Hurricane Irma last September may learn more details this week about the highly anticipated program. 

The forecasters got Hurricane Irma mostly right. At least compared to the predictions of past storms. That’s one of the conclusions from a National Hurricane Center report on the big storm that hit Florida last September.

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Ruling against the Florida Department of Health, a circuit judge Friday said an embattled Broward County nursing home is entitled to receive copies of death certificates for people who died across the state around the time of Hurricane Irma.

Sofas, refrigerators, pipes and lobster traps all wound up littering the Keys reef and backcountry flats after Hurricane Irma blew through in September.

Now the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary wants to deploy volunteer divers to remove the debris.

The number of sinkholes in Florida has surged since Hurricane Irma.

Some 400 sinkholes have been reported statewide since Hurricane Irma hit in September.

Anthony Randazzo of the engineering and geology firm Geohazards says water flowing underground during such heavy rain events brings with it clay and sand.

“Once you begin to do this you promote a lack of support for the ground surface to be able to hold or support a structure,” said Randazzo. 

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County officials in the Florida Keys are looking to get federal money to reimburse them for expenses related to Hurricane Irma. Monroe County officials traveled to Washington DC last week to meet with FEMA officials.

The county has submitted about $16 million in expenses for reimbursement.

So far, FEMA has approved about $3.9 million. Now the county is waiting for the state's Department of Emergency Management to sign off.

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More than six months after residents of a Broward County nursing home died following Hurricane Irma, Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed two bills that nail down requirements for nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to have backup generators and fuel supplies.

The bills (HB 7099 and SB 7028), passed this month by the Legislature, ratified rules issued by the Scott administration. The ratified rules replaced emergency rules issued in September following the deaths of residents of The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.

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The Florida Department of Health this week asked a circuit judge to dismiss a public-records lawsuit filed by a Broward County nursing home where residents died after Hurricane Irma.

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The Florida Department of Health this week asked a circuit judge to dismiss a public-records lawsuit filed by a Broward County nursing home where residents died after Hurricane Irma.

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The death toll from Hurricane Irma's catastrophic rampage across the Caribbean and the southeastern U.S. has risen to 44 fatalities directly caused by its strong winds and heavy rains, plus 85 fatalities indirectly linked to the storm, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Irma may have slammed across South Florida almost six months ago, but some are still feeling the effects of the storm.  

 

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A proposed rule requiring Florida nursing homes to have backup power in the event of an outage advanced Tuesday in the Florida Legislature.

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The superintendent of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary says that after efforts to help the coral reef recover from Hurricane Irma, challenges loom for the marine ecosystem.

Broward Nursing Home Files Public Records Case

Feb 6, 2018
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A Broward County nursing home where residents died after Hurricane Irma has filed a public-records lawsuit alleging that the Florida Department of Health improperly refused to provide copies of death certificates from across the state.

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A paramedic testified that he is haunted by the deaths of 12 patients who died of heat exposure at a Florida nursing home that lost its air conditioning due to a power outage during Hurricane Irma.

A warning about pizza and a big bear as Hurricane Irma approached Florida is prompting a bill addressing how the state communicates with hearing impaired residents during weather emergencies.

The only organization providing hospice care in the Lower Keys is closing.

After the destructive repercussions Hurricane Irma had on Florida’s elderly residents, a new bill looks to address the key issue as to why they were so negatively affected.

As Hurricane Irma bore down on Florida, Gov. Rick Scott gave out his cellphone number during a conference call with administrators of the state's nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

National Parks Conservation Association

A new report estimates Hurricane Irma caused more than $5 million in damage to Everglades restoration.

An aging reverse-osmosis plant proved its worth in the wake of Hurricane Irma, says the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority’s chief executive.

House Republicans on Monday unveiled an $81 billion disaster aid package to help hurricane-ravaged communities and states hit by wildfires, almost double the amount requested by President Donald Trump.

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Floridians have two extra weeks to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

Lake Okeechobee’s receding water is offering a clearer view of Irma’s environmental impact.

The water is down by about a foot since the hurricane but remains high at more than 16 feet.

Paul Gray of Audubon of Florida says the water and muck stirred from the lake’s bottom prevent sunlight from reaching important plant communities.

And those plants serve as nurseries for fish.

In the aftermath of any major storm, we can expect to see many toppled and uprooted trees in South Florida. But recently one massive tree in a public park in Miami-Dade was tagged with a heartfelt plea for passersby.

Stuck on the tree were two handwritten signs reading “I’m alive. So stand me up!”

“It's a good intention,” says Adrian Hunsberger, urban horticulture agent with the University of Florida/Miami-Dade County Extension Office. “But usually if it's blown over and it's laying on its side it's really beyond salvaging.”

There is still a chance for some people to sign up for D-SNAP disaster food assistance in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Displaced Puerto Ricans Face Obstacles Getting Health Care

Nov 21, 2017
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The federal government has granted people affected by the devastating hurricanes that wracked coastal states and Puerto Rico 15 extra days to sign up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

But Puerto Ricans who fled to the mainland after the destruction face problems well beyond timing.

Nursing Home Asks Congress Not To 'Rush To Judgment'

Nov 21, 2017
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Contending that media reports have been inaccurate and sensationalized, attorneys for The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills nursing home asked that a congressional committee avoid any “rush to judgment or invitation to usurp the judicial branch” about findings of guilt, innocence, liability or wrongdoing.

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