Hurricane Irma

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. 

Miami Herald

Florida residents will no longer get a free pass traversing most stretches of Florida’s Turnpike or certain local expressways across the state.

The Florida Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that starting at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, tolls on a vast majority of Florida’s Turnpike system, all state roads and bridges, and all regional toll facilities will be re-instated.

It does not take a hurricane to put nursing home residents at risk when disaster strikes.

Around the country, facilities have been caught unprepared for far more mundane emergencies than the hurricanes that struck Florida and Houston, according to an examination of federal inspection records. And these nursing homes rarely face severe reprimands, even when inspectors identify repeated lapses.

In some cases, nursing homes failed to prepare for even the most basic contingencies.

Screenshot

A Coconut Grove neighbor turned to the popular Nextdoor app to warn fellow residents about “suspicious activity” days after Hurricane Irma knocked down trees and left parts of the neighborhood without electricity.

The activity the poster saw:  Three African-American young men riding bicycles.

In the Crime and Safety section, the poster wrote, he approached the young men and told them, “We are here.”

One neighbor replied,  “Not helpful to racially profile people. Greet and ask if they need assistance before assuming they are criminals.”

It’s been more than a week since Hurricane Irma.

Yet many smaller communities in Florida’s rural counties are still suffering and need basic resources, according to a disaster relief expert with the Salvation Army.

Irma Insurance Claims Already Near $2 Billion

Sep 19, 2017

With 335,000 insurance claims representing $1.9 billion in property losses, Hurricane Irma already has exceeded the claims and losses from the two hurricanes that pummeled Florida last year, the state Office of Insurance Regulation reported Monday.

Another hurricane, another health care horror story.

At least that's how it looked when eight patients died at a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida. The facility lost its air conditioning several days after Hurricane Irma struck.

That event conjured memories of the scores of elderly who died in Louisiana hospitals and nursing homes following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The outlook is grim again for Florida’s budget drafters—and that’s before considering the cost of Hurricane Irma.  State forecasters are warning the coffers are nearly empty for the third year running.

With restoration continuing this week after Hurricane Irma, Florida Department of Health officials are warning residents about standing water left by the storm as a thriving environment for mosquitoes.

Containers like garden pots, birdbaths, tires and cans, when filled with standing water, can host mosquitoes laying up to 200 eggs.

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.

Mark Hedden / WLRN News

Hurricane Irma was the strongest storm to hit Florida in more than a decade. It set records on its way through the Atlantic and Caribbean: the longest sustained Category 5 storm of the satellite age, the fastest winds of any storm in the open Atlantic and enough energy for an entire hurricane season -- all in one storm.

Irma was an epic storm. It was stronger and bigger than almost all hurricanes on record and lasted longer than any storm on record. From the Lower Florida Keys to St. Augustine, the Gulf Coast across to I-95, it triggered the largest evacuation in Florida and left large swaths of the state without power for days.

 

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

An estimated 10,000 residents are homeless after Hurricane Irma blew through the Florida Keys as a massive and powerful Category 4 storm and devastated entire blocks of homes last week.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced the estimate during a news conference Monday morning in Marathon.

With that count, a little more than 10 percent of Monroe County residents have nowhere to live.

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