florida hurricanes

A Republican state senator — and funeral director — is suggesting that a South Florida nursing home may not be to blame for 14 deaths that occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Excess water from Hurricane Irma is still making its way through Florida, exacerbating the significant water management challenges the state's faced this rainy season.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Miami-Dade needs to improve its communications before the next storm, said Mayor Carlos Gimenez, acknowledging that the county could have been clearer about which shelters were open when in the days leading up to Hurricane Irma last month.

Kate Stein / WLRN

In the hours before Hurricane Irma came barreling towards Florida, Gloria Guity and her adult children went to five different shelters before they arrived at Miami Edison Senior High School.

“Here is better than where we were,” Guity, 76, said sitting at a cafeteria table. “Here I told them to put me next to the bathroom so at least I can take them to the bathroom.”

With time running out to comply with what could be a $240 million generator mandate handed down by Gov Rick Scott, nursing-home administrators and long-term care lobbyists left a Tuesday meeting without an indication of what, if anything the state will do to help offset the costs.

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

An 11th death has been blamed on the air-conditioning failure at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which was caused by power outages from last week’s storm.

The victim was identified by the Broward Medical Examiner’s Office as 94-year-old Alice Thomas.

Thomas died on Thursday, eight days after the power failure caused a wave of deaths and forced the evacuation of the nursing home, which is just steps away from Memorial Regional Hospital.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Palm Beach County animal care officers rescued more than 100 pets during Hurricane Irma.

Now law enforcement looking to hold some owners accountable.

Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control Capt. David Walesky said dozens of dogs were brought in and surrendered by people evacuating. Others were tied to cars, left in cages, or let loose in the community.

On the heels of nine nursing home deaths due to Hurricane Irma, Florida’s U.S. Senators have filed a bipartisan bill to create a national panel that looks into ways to help seniors during a disaster.

Peter Haden / WLRN

You may remember the iconic photo of a flock of flamingos stuffed into a bathroom at the Miami Metrozoo during Hurricane Andrew 25 years ago. And we were wondering: How do zoos and parks keep animals safe during a hurricane?

When the fourth-graders in Mrs. Marlem Diaz-Brown's class returned to school on Monday, they were tasked with writing their first essay of the year. The topic was familiar: Hurricane Irma.

By Wednesday, they had worked out their introduction and evidence paragraphs and were brainstorming their personal experiences. To help them remember, Mrs. D-B had them draw out a timeline — starting Friday before the storm. Then, based on their drawings, they could start to talk about — and eventually, write about — what they experienced.

Mark Hedden / WLRN News

WLRN News and its partners have reporters on the ground throughout the islands. We will be posting their updates as they come in. 

Mark Hedden / markhedden.com

As Irma was coming toward the Keys, I actually managed to get a couple hours of sleep.

This was surprising since the wind was already rattling the air vents in the room where I was settled on an air mattress with my husband and our dog. But essential because I had not slept at all the night before. 

Edgar B. Herwick III / WLRN News

“Job No. 1 for the FCC [Federal Communication Commission] is public safety,” were FCC Commissioner  Mignon Clyburn’s opening remarks from the podium at the Miami-Dade Emergency Management Center.

Commissioner Clyburn joined FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Monday for a meeting with South Florida public safety officials and broadcasters to discuss the importance of  first responders and the public during storms and other emergencies.

After a painful flight across several states to escape unpredictable Hurricane Irma, Suzanne Pallot says it's unlikely she would evacuate South Florida again — an attitude echoed by other evacuees that experts say could put them in danger when the next storm hits.

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