Hurricane Irma

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.

Courtesy of Arnetta Gordon

Arnetta Gordon is a Miami-Dade public school teacher.  After leaving Miami to escape Hurricane Irma with her husband and four children, she returned to her Liberty City home which like thousands of others had no electricity.  Gordon has a 9-month old infant who she breastfeeds.

She wrote WLRN about the challenges of breastfeeding with no power:

The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services has sent more than 700 employees to treat medical emergencies in areas impacted by Hurricane Irma.

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is putting blue plastic sheeting on homes damaged by Hurricane Irma.

Hurricane Irma Leaves In Florida A Death Toll Of 34 - And Rising

Sep 18, 2017
Mark Hedden / WLRN News

Hurricane Irma has officially been tied to 34 deaths in Florida, but the number will rise.

The figure available Monday morning from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Division of Emergency Management is still being updated.

Not every county has been recorded.

Absent is Monroe, where recovery efforts continue with ongoing door-to-door checks in the Keys. So far at least nine deaths have been tied to the storm in Monroe County, according to the Miami Herald.

Edgar B. Herwick III / WLRN News

“If you build it, they will come,” said a voice from the Heavens to Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella in the 1989 classic "Field of Dreams."

And while that might have worked out just fine for Kinsella and his magical baseball diamond in the corn, it did not appear to be the case at the Holiday Park Social Center in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday. 

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.

Florida’s nursing home industry will hold a summit Friday in Tallahassee to discuss Gov. Rick Scott’s emergency rule requiring increased generator capacity to help nursing homes in a disaster, according to the Miami Herald.

After Irma, Slow-Moving Crisis Headed For Lake Okeechobee

Sep 18, 2017
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The winds and outer bands of Hurricane Irma are long gone, but as rainwater drains south through Florida’s rivers and watersheds, the storm still presents a slow-moving crisis headed right for Lake Okeechobee.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson says the state needs to make sure its monitoring nursing homes. Eight residents died in a sweltering south Florida nursing home after Hurricane Irma knocked out power.

“The ALF’s and nursing homes are patrolled, regulated by the state of Florida.  And so there’s going to be some hell to pay, because they are going to have to tighten down on the regulations to make sure the nursing homes for the frail, elderly are doing the job,” said Nelson Friday at a stop in Apopka.

Gov. Scott Signs Insurance Emergency Order After Irma

Sep 18, 2017
Catherine Welch / WMFE

Florida homeowners have more time to update their insurance policies. Governor Rick Scott signed an emergency order to help homeowners in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

The order provides home owner’s insurance policy holders an additional 90 days to supply required information to their insurance companies.

Florida’s Former Insurance Commissioner Lisa Miller said the order helps residents that may have been displaced from Hurricane Irma to update information and prevent policies from canceling.

An Ohio woman says her drug-addicted son has died of an apparent overdose after being abruptly released from a Florida treatment center ahead of Hurricane Irma.

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