Kate Stein

Reporter

Kate Stein can't quite explain what attracts her to South Florida. It's more than just the warm weather (although this Wisconsin native and Northwestern University graduate definitely appreciates the South Florida sunshine). It has a lot to do with being able to travel from the Everglades to Little Havana to Brickell without turning off 8th Street. It's also related to Stein's fantastic coworkers, whom she first got to know during a winter 2016 internship.

Officially, Stein is WLRN's environment, data and transportation journalist. Privately, she uses her job as an excuse to rove around South Florida searching for stories à la Carl Hiaasen and Edna Buchanan. Regardless, Stein speaks Spanish and is always thrilled to run, explore and read. 

Ways to Connect

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

The nursing home where residents died following a hurricane-induced air conditioning outage was not on the priority list for power restoration, according to the facility's utility provider and Broward County officials.

Emergency responders confirmed eight deaths last Wednesday at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, three days after Hurricane Irma knocked out power to the facility's air conditioning system.

C.M. Guerrero / Miami Herald

Florida Power & Light officials say it could be more than 10 days before power is restored to all customers who are in the dark due to Hurricane Irma.

FP&L spokesperson Rob Gould said restoration to nearly all customers in the eastern half of the state should be completed by Sunday night.

The company expects power to be restored to western Florida — more heavily damaged by the storm — by Sept. 22.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN News

The following is a collection of dispatches from WLRN reporters staying at shelters in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, which by 6 p.m. on Saturday were hosting almost 45,000 people (15,000 in Broward and more than 29,000 in Miami-Dade), as well as about 1,000 pets. 

Joe Raedle / Getty Images via the Miami Herald

The Miami-Dade County shelter for people with special medical needs is full; pre-registration was required and about 2200 people are already in place.

County officials say if people with medical conditions did not pre-register for the special shelter, but are able to get to another shelter that’s not full, they should not be turned away from other shelters and should come prepared with necessary medication and equipment.

Residents who have a complex medical condition and need medical supervision, should call 311 for guidance, according to County Officials.

Monique O. Maddan / Miami Herald

At a shelter in Miami Edison High School on Friday night, Miami's city commissioner Francis Suarez said a new round of shelter openings — including Miami Northwestern High School and Shenandoah Middle School — will help Overtown residents.

Previously, Overtown residents had received mixed messages about whether or not the Booker T. Washington High School would be used as an evacuation shelter. 

And, Suarez says, the ride-sharing company Lyft has given $10,000 to help low-income people throughout the city of Miami evacuate.

Flickr

Irma? There's an app for that.

Officials are encouraging South Florida residents to download smartphone apps for last-minute storm prep and to keep updated during the hurricane and its aftermath.

Among the suggested apps:

Florida Power and Light app: To monitor power outages

Florida 511: For real-time traffic updates

Gas Buddy: Shows gas stations and prices based on location

Tom Hudson / WLRN

If evacuation orders for parts of downtown Miami aren’t enough of an incentive to leave, city officials are also telling people to leave downtown high-rises because of construction cranes.

Officials from the city of Miami say there are more than 20 cranes in downtown Miami right now. They're engineered to withstand winds of 145 miles per hour -- less than what Irma might bring if it hits as a category 4 or 5 storm.

Kate Stein

An informal “emergency operations center” serving Miami-Dade and Broward counties is offering help for low-income, disabled and elderly people -- and it's seeking volunteers.

The Miami Climate Alliance, the CLEO Institute and the New Florida Majority are coordinating the grassroots effort to help people prepare for the storm and its aftermath. They’re taking calls and deploying volunteers to help board up windows and make other hurricane preparations. They’re also accepting donations of hurricane supplies.

El Nuevo Herald

Many schools throughout South Florida will be closed at the end of this week because of concerns over looming Hurricane Irma. 

Officials caution that the hurricane's path is not yet certain, but they are emphasizing preparedness.

Here are closures announced as of 9 a.m. Wednesday:

MONROE

NOAA via AP

With Hurricane Irma bearing down on the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean, water managers in South Florida are bracing for heavy rainfall they say could exacerbate high water issues from record-setting rains the region experienced earlier this summer.

Allison Light, WLRN

President Donald Trump is likely to announce the end of a program that extends legal protections to people who were brought into the U.S. illegally as children, multiple news agencies report.

Courtesy of Brightline

Brightline trains are leaving the station, but it's not quite yet full steam ahead for the express rail service being built between West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. That could pose a problem for Miami-Dade County's long-term transit plan, officials told the Miami Herald last week.

Logan Riely / Miami Herald

A meeting between Miami-Dade County officials and county residents concerned about aerial mosquito spraying was cancelled Monday.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Climate change is a local issue.

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