Hurricane Irma

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.

Those affected by Hurricane Irma who apply for FEMA disaster assistance, shouldn’t consider an initial denial of aid the final word.


People who need unemployment assistance after Hurricane Irma might not be getting the help that is available to them.

Valencia Gunder / via Facebook

Responding to Facebook posts accusing them of unfairly dumping debris in underserved neighborhoods, Miami-Dade County officials said Tuesday the foliage downed by Irma is a problem shared by everyone in the county.

Roberto Koltun / Miami Herald

Data confirms what many South Floridians might have guessed: the alarming impact of Hurricane Harvey in August likely motivated people to prepare early for Hurricane Irma last month. And that meant spending a lot of money. Think of it as plywood and Pop Tart spending.

City of Key West

For years tourists have flocked to take photos at Key West's Southernmost Point Marker.

That came to a halt when the concrete buoy was damaged during Hurricane Irma. But the buoy is photo-ready again.

The Florida Keys News Bureau reports that the City of Key West hired Danny Acosta, the original artist, and artist Henry DelValle to repaint the graphics on the Florida Key's most photographed tourism icon.

The colorful marker represents the southernmost point of land in the continental United States.

Lisa Marteeny survived 8-to-10 feet of storm surge during Hurricane Irma in Everglades City. But her husband of nearly 13 years Lee Marteeny did not. He died at the age of 72 from a bacterial infection days after wading in nearly chest-deep floodwaters with his wife. Lisa Marteeny, 62, describes in her own words what it was like to wait out the major storm on her neighbor Adela Butler’s back porch, which is on stilts. And she talks about losing her husband days later:


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.

Hurricane Irma at 8 a.m. on Sept. 10, 2017.
National Weather Service

In the six weeks since Hurricane Irma first made landfall in Florida, almost 750,000 property insurance claims have been filed. Almost one out of every three of those have been filed by property owners in South Florida. And most of those insurance claims remain open.

"So far, I am satisfied," said Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier about the process. "We do have ways to go, so that's a preliminary assessment."

One month since Maria hit Puerto Rico, the wait for Irma's food benefits in South Florida and Florida public schools vs. the state over charter schools all on this week's 'special pledge edition' of The Florida Roundup with host Tom Hudson. 

Guests: 

State officials say they have distributed more than $1 billion worth of food assistance following Hurricane Irma.

Peter Haden / WLRN

As Floridians continue lining up for food assistance due to hardships caused by Hurricane Irma, state officials announced they intend to re-open enrollment in two South Florida counties to meet demand.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Survey teams this week completed an assessment of the condition of the Keys reef tract, from Biscayne Bay to Key West.

"It's very much like what's observable on land," said Sarah Fangman, superintendent of the 2,900-square-nautical-mile Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. "In some places, the impacts are pretty dramatic and visible and in other places they are much less. So we're finding the same is true underwater."

Even in the same location, the hurricane's impacts differ.

If all goes well, people on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands could have power restored next week for the first time since a pair of devastating Category 5 hurricanes struck in September, the local electric utility says.

"Portions of St. John are scheduled to be restored by the middle of next week," says Jean P. Greaux, Jr., communications director for Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority.

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