florida hurricanes

Florida got thousands of complaints about price-gouging when Hurricane Irma hit, but so far Attorney General Pam Bondi's office has settled just one case.

Kate Stein / WLRN

As Hurricane Irma churned through South Florida, Patrick O'Quinn felt trapped.

He'd moved to Miami about three months before the storm and described himself as "just getting on his feet in terms of finding a place to live." As the storm bore down, O'Quinn decided to fly to Memphis, where he has family.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Miami-Dade needs a community-wide "culture of resilience" before the next hurricane, a county commissioner argued in a new report.

"Every individual, every household needs to have an emergency plan. And that plan needs to be communicated with somebody who’s a lifeline," Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava wrote in the report on Hurricane Irma.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Hurricane Irma was over and the Monday after the storm all Leola Maedell wanted to do was go home.

The elderly Little River resident had been at the red metal picnic table outside Miami Edison Senior High School for four hours, waiting on the buses that would take her from the shelter back to her neighborhood.

Peter Haden / WLRN

The ability to communicate during emergencies, like Hurricane Irma , is critical. When phones and the internet go down, there’s something else South Florida emergency operations centers, or EOC’s, can turn to: amateur radio operators.

It’s sometimes referred to as "ham" radio, and the operators are sometimes called “hams.”

In Broward County, there are ham radio antennas mounted on all of the hurricane shelters and some of the hospitals, ready to be activated. There’s also a room full of ham radios at the Broward County EOC.

Courtesy Sara Kaufman

Today on Sundial: There's a new report from independent research firm Climate Central that looks at the 15 most at-risk cities in the US to sea-level rise. Of those 15 cities, 12 are in South Florida. We talk to WLRN's Kate Stein about that report, as well as how people in the region view the issue of flooding. Plus, we'll cover the upcoming ballot issue about the Miami Forever Fund.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Hotels and room-sharing services could become part of hurricane preparations in South Florida, say officials who are looking to encourage local evacuations for future storms.

"Really, within the state there's nowhere to evacuate that's safer than staying within Miami-Dade County because we can't necessarily predict where a hurricane's going to end up," said Jane Gilbert, chief resilience officer for the city of Miami. "People had a hard time getting out of the state."

A month after the U.S. Coast Guard released its final report on the sinking of cargo freighter El Faro, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said he plans to file legislation.

But Nelson isn’t clear on exactly when or what kinds of measures he’d like to see implemented legislatively for a safer shipping industry.


State Officials Defend Massive Evacuation Traffic Plans

Oct 27, 2017

Despite widespread traffic jams that choked Florida's highways, state officials are defending the approach used during Hurricane Irma.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Howard Webster’s third graders had “first-day jitters” on Sept. 18. But the first day of school had been nearly a month earlier.

Gateway Environmental K-8 Learning Center in Homestead was closed for seven school days because of Hurricane Irma, as were most other schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

“With the kids being out so long, it's like starting school all over again,” Webster said during an after-school event shortly after the storm.

C.M. Guerrero / Miami Herald

Fed up with piles of post-Irma debris in your neighborhood?

You're not alone. Hundreds of South Florida residents have taken to social media to complain.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Resiliency is more than dealing with sea level rise, and Hurricane Irma made that point clearly, South Florida officials said at a post-Irma summit on Monday.

John and Grace Slaby met 19 years ago on an animal preserve much like the one they own and operate now. The 5-acre Kowiachobee Animal Preserve in Naples, Fla., holds more than 100 animals — from a 6-year-old African lion named Shaumbay to a raccoon named Dexter.

Last month, Kowiachobee was hit by the eye of Hurricane Irma, a Category 3 storm. After an already wet season, the hurricane created more flooding on the property. Grace and John, along with many volunteers, are now repairing cages damaged by the storm.

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.

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