Hurricane Irma

Dozens Of Nursing Homes Still Lack Power

Sep 15, 2017

Dozens of nursing homes continued Thursday to lack electricity or had been evacuated because of Hurricane Irma, as the state grappled with the deaths of eight residents of a Broward County facility that did not have air conditioning.

Amy Green / WMFE

Water managers expect Lake Okeechobee will rise to near historic levels after Irma.

They will begin sending water east Friday.

Lake Okeechobee is expected to reach as many as 17 feet as storm water continues to drain from central Florida to the Kissimmee River and eventually the state’s largest lake.

That would be the highest level in more than 10 years. But Laureen Borochaner of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the lake’s dike is in good shape after Irma.

Hurricane Irma’s state-engulfing radar signature and widespread damage will be a hard image to shake, but tourism experts say Florida’s biggest industry will rebound.

Hurricane Irma No Boon To State Budget

Sep 14, 2017

Hurricane Irma could extend her destructive reach to the next state budget.

 

A long-range financial report, which will be reviewed Friday by the Joint Legislative Budget Commission, shows lawmakers working with only a projected $52 million surplus as they craft the 2018-19 budget early next year. It's a fiscal pittance in an overall $82 billion budget.

 

And that surplus may shrink, if not disappear, given the state's financial history following major hurricanes.

 

Evan Vucci / AP

The Miami Heat Charitable Fund, Carnival Corporation and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation said Thursday they are giving up to $10 million in Hurricane Irma relief efforts across Florida and the Caribbean.

The pledge starts with an immediate $2.5 million donation by the Arison family to Direct Relief, UNICEF and the United Way of Miami-Dade County. Carnival Foundation and the Heat Charitable Fund are each pledging to raise a combined $5 million, and the Arison Foundation will match those efforts up to $5 million in total.

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

If you’re still fretting in the dark about when your power will finally be restored, take heart: Florida Power & Light Co. has doubled-down on its promise to have the electricity up and running for all homes and businesses on the state’s east coast by the end of Sunday Sept. 17.

The west coast, where Hurricane Irma caused the greatest damage, will be back online by Friday Sept. 22.

As monster Hurricane Irma buzz-sawed its way up Florida's Gulf Coast, it looked for several hours like the heavily populated Tampa Bay area could face catastrophic wind damage and flooding from the first major storm to roar ashore there in 96 years.

AP

Huge waves crashed down on this tropical paradise, pounding the white sands of Summerland Key with brute fury. Then came bomb-blast winds as Hurricane Irma slammed ashore.

For survivors John Hartman and Mae Skiver, the worst was yet to come as they sheltered in a friend's house, utterly at the mercy of the monster storm now thrashing this slender island chain.

 

The two 27-year-olds both lived in trailers in neighboring Cudjoe Key in this palm-studded archipelago that juts about 120 miles away from South Florida across warm waters.

 

For the millions of people who are still without power across Florida, heat illness can be a concern.  

Carbon monoxide poisoning from generators has reportedly killed five Floridians in the wake of Irma. Here are some ways to prevent exposure to the potentially deadly gas.

Walking through mobile homes ravaged by Hurricane Irma in Naples, Fla., President Trump praised first responders and residents for doing an "incredible" job on rescue and recovery. Earlier in his one-day visit to Florida, Trump also lauded state and federal officials for their preparation and response to the hurricane.

"We love the people of Florida and they went through something that, I guess, the likes of which we could really say nobody's ever seen before," Trump said in Naples.

Miami Herald

The number of nursing homes in Florida still without power stood at 64 midday Thursday — down from about 400 that lost power due to Hurricane Irma, according to the Florida Health Care Association.

Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post

More than two dozen Palm Beach County public schools will be offering free meals to children and their families on Thursday and Friday to ensure access to nutritious meals as schools work to reopen after Hurricane Irma.

The 27 campuses will serve breakfast and lunch to anyone under 18, along with their adult caretakers, the school district said. Breakfasts will be served from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hurricane Irma evacuees trying to return home can breathe a little easier.

The Florida Department of Transportation said Thursday the state will not have to close a portion of Interstate 75 in Alachua County, as Santa Fe River flooding has started to recede.

“As of this morning, FDOT engineers and state meteorologists do not believe that the Santa Fe River will reach a level to make the interstate unsafe,” a news release from the Department of Transportation and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said.

David Santiago / El Nuevo Herald

Miami Dade County Public Schools will hand out thousands of free meals to families on Thursday.

“In the wake of Hurricane Irma, many in our community are struggling to meet basic needs,” the district wrote in a press release.

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