Hurricane Irma

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency is being faulted for inadequate oversight of debris removal operations after Hurricane Irma.

Wikimedia Commons

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is being faulted for inadequate oversight of debris removal operations after Hurricane Irma.

More than a year after Hurricane Irma, blue tarps still lay on roofs across South Florida. According to the Miami Herald, tens of thousands of homeowners across the state are still waiting for assistance to pay for damages to their houses and many have sued insurance companies.

Public schools across Florida opened their doors to residents last year during Hurricane Irma evacuations.

Pinellas County Schools were recently reimbursed more than $2.6 million by the federal governrment for the cost of food, fuel, staff, custodial supplies and floor coverings.

The White Sands Inn and Hawks Cay Resort are only four miles apart in the Middle Keys, but they represent two very different types of hotels along the island chain. They also represent two very different realities in the year since Hurricane Irma hit Monroe County.

Hawks Cay is one of the largest hotels in the Keys with 177 rooms and 250 rental villas, and it is one of the largest private employers in the Keys. During the business season, it employes 350 people. It's owned by a real estate investment group based in New York City.

Monroe County is waiting for $90 million of federal money promised to help rebuild and repair damage after Hurricane Irma and help better protect the Keys from future storms. 

St. Johns County and the City of Jacksonville Beach will be getting more money from the federal government to help with clean-up costs associated with Hurricane Irma last September.

It's been almost a year since Hurricane Irma impacted Central Florida in mid-September - but the damage it did is still being calculated.

Hurricane Irma cost Florida's fishing industries almost $200 million, according to a damage assessment released by the state and federal governments.

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A $50 million clean-up project to remove debris from Hurricane Irma has begun in the Florida Keys where a crew lifted a sunken motorhome from a canal.

With lots of rain and high humidity over the summer, Big Pine Key has not seen a repeat of last spring's wildfire that consumed dozens of acres. And the state forest service is trying to keep it that way.

The fire last April consumed dozens of acres and destroyed one structure. It was fueled by the dead vegetation left behind by Hurricane Irma, which crossed the Lower Keys as a Category 4 hurricane in September of 2017.

Florida’s 14 nonprofit waterkeepers are asking environmental regulators to conduct an audit of the state’s vulnerability to storms and sea level rise.

The water watch-dogs say Florida is not planning well enough for the effects of climate change.

Monroe County already had one of the highest suicide rates in the state of Florida.

Then came Hurricane Irma. And although most of the debris has been removed from land - and lots of repairs are underway — the storm continues to impact the Keys, almost a year later.

South Florida could see two feet or more of sea-level rise over the next 40 years. It’s alarming. 

 

And there’s growing concern that the risk of rising seas could sink South Florida’s economy before the water even gets here.

Amy Green / WMFE

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday urged the Joint Legislative Budget Commission to approve $340 million in federal block grant funding to help the state’s hurricane-ravaged citrus industry. 

Every few weeks, Fred and Melissa Bach host a neighborhood barbecue at their home in the Avenues, on Big Pine Key. Fred’s watching the grill, a barrel shaped rig with a smoker on the side. There are ribs, chicken, salmon — all sizzling and smelling good.

A neighborhood cookout on a Sunday afternoon is a normal thing in most places. But here, in this neighborhood full of mobile homes and ground level houses, these barbecues are a rare refuge of normalcy.

The Avenues took a direct blow from Hurricane Irma last September.

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A state appeals court has stepped in and at least temporarily halted the release of thousands of death records to an embattled Broward County nursing home.

U.S. Navy

Florida Power & Light customers will see a small, one-time credit in August that in part corrects an “over-recovery” cost for Hurricane Matthew, which whipped the east coast in 2016.

Hernando County Schools/Facebookj

Thanks to Hurricane Irma, all students in one Florida school system will qualify for free breakfast and lunch through 2022.

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The federal government has approved Florida's request for $616 million that will be partially used to repair homes destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Irma last year.

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A state appeals court Wednesday upheld moves by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration to shut down a Broward County nursing home that drew nationwide attention last year after the deaths of residents following Hurricane Irma.

Amy Green / WMFE

Florida's citrus growers are blaming Hurricane Irma for one of their worst seasons in decades.

In a Naples Daily News report , U.S. agriculture officials said Florida's orange production dropped nearly 35 percent from the previous season. Grapefruit production was half of what it was last year.

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For the second time, a Tallahassee judge has sided with an embattled nursing home in a public-records dispute with the Florida Department of Health, saying the agency did not comply with his order to turn over death certificates from across the state.

Legal Hotline For Hurricane Victims To Close

Jun 11, 2018

Floridians who were affected by Hurricane Irma and need legal advice have until the end of the week to call a free hotline.

Months after Gov. Rick Scott approved new rules for nursing homes and assisted living facilities, much of the industry is not in compliance as hurricane season gets underway.

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The Nemours CareConnect app can connect Florida families with medical help every day of the week, 24 hours a day during hurricane season, which officially started June 1. 

In the days after Hurricane Irma swept through South Florida last September, knocking out power across the region, 14 patients at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills died from sweltering conditions. Twelve of those deaths were ruled homicides by the state. 

On Thursday morning, one day before the official start of a new hurricane season, South Florida seniors spoke to local emergency management officials and lawmakers about how to better prepare.

The lull lasted more than a decade. A major storm hadn’t made landfall in South Florida since the 2004-2005 double-hitter of Hurricanes Wilma and Katrina.

That record ended this past September when Hurricane Irma rocked the region and much of the Caribbean.

The Category 5 storm first made landfall in Barbuda with maximum winds of nearly 180 mph. The hurricane then ripped through St. Martin, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas and Cuba.

Climate change could impact the strength of hurricanes in the Atlantic. That’s according to Senior NASA Scientist, Timothy Hall. 

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.

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