Local News

From Palm Beach to the Florida Keys, WLRN's award winning reporters work every day to bring you the most relevant stories in your community. 

Do you have a story idea or news to report? You can send us an email to news@wlrnnews.org or send us a message on Twitter @WLRN or on our Facebook page

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.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN News

As Hurricane Irma bore down on South Florida, Kevin Youngman and his family sought shelter at Falcon Cove Middle School in Weston. There, he found himself in enemy territory.

“I think it’s weird for us because we all went to the rival middle school, Tequesta Trace,” said Youngman, 25, as he relaxed on an air mattress in the school gym.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

The nursing home where residents died following a hurricane-induced air conditioning outage was not on the priority list for power restoration, according to the facility's utility provider and Broward County officials.

Emergency responders confirmed eight deaths last Wednesday at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, three days after Hurricane Irma knocked out power to the facility's air conditioning system.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Growing up in Miami, Luis Gazitúa lived through Hurricane Andrew in 1992 – one of the most destructive storms ever to hit South Florida. That’s why the Coconut Grove attorney recognized the awful danger of Hurricane Irma.

Irma was even bigger and stronger than Andrew. So when early forecast models this month showed it heading straight for Miami, Gazitúa and his family decided to evacuate South Florida.

“We had actually booked rooms in Orlando,” Gazitúa says at his law office in Coral Gables. “My father, my brother, our children and our wives and my mother.”

Miami-Dade And Broward Schools Will Reopen Monday

Sep 17, 2017
Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

Miami-Dade County Public Schools will reopen Monday, the school system announced just after noon Sunday.

But, MDCPS Superintendent Alberto Carvalho Tweeted, not all schools will have air conditioning in all parts of the school. Also, lack of power at Richmond Heights Middle School means its students will be sent to Coral Reef Senior High School. And while the buildings remain solid, expect some power blinks at those with electricity.

Matias J. Ocner / Miami Herald

Want to help Hurricane Irma victims?

Donate money, not goods. Money can be used immediately; goods have to be sorted and cleaned.

By donating funds, people with the greatest need will get them immediately, leaders of local charities say.

See a list of local charities seeking donations for storm victims from Key West to West Palm.

Nursing Home Where 8 Died Had Emergency Plan, No Mention Of Air Conditioning

Sep 16, 2017
Al Diaz / Miami Herald

When the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills submitted its 43-page emergency management plan to county administrators in July, it included details on how the home would maintain clean linen, distribute canned food and ensure residents had access to hand sanitizers.

It made no mention of how residents would be kept cool if the home’s power was lost.

That was a tragic oversight: On Wednesday, health regulators said, eight residents of the rehabilitation center succumbed to cardiac and respiratory failure after a portable air cooling system malfunctioned.

‘The Keys Are Not What You Left’: Residents Return To Middle Keys For The First Time

Sep 16, 2017
Al Diaz / Miami Herald

MARATHON - When Judith Silva pulled up to her fish market and restaurant alongside Overseas Highway at Mile Marker 52 early Saturday morning, she breathed a bit of a sigh of relief. The signs for King Seafood were still perched atop her business and the mural she had recently paid $2,000 to restore was intact.

 

Inside, was a different matter: A 2-to-3 foot storm surge had deposited a thick soup of noxious mud and likely shorted out all her freezer cases.

 

Palm Beach County may have dodged the worst of Hurricane Irma’s winds, but the storm dealt a direct hit to classrooms.

After seven days of canceled classes, the county’s public school system is weighing whether it needs to resort to makeup days to recoup lost classroom time when classes resume Monday.

No decision has been made, but Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa said he was worried about the effect of missed days on students.

“Every missed hour is a missed opportunity to grow and learn,” Avossa said.

Donna E. Natale Planas / Miami Herald

If you live in South Dade, and you still don’t have power, get ready to sweat a little longer.

FPL has tweaked its promise of restoring power to Miami-Dade County by Sunday night. Instead, anyone living south of Miller Drive — Coral Gables, South Miami, Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, Homestead and Florida City — will have their power restored by Tuesday night.

“We have refined our timeline,” FPL spokesman Richard Beltran told the Miami Herald late Friday. “Harder hit areas in South Dade will be up by Tuesday.”

No, that Facebook post telling you to take a picture of your empty fridge and send it along a form is not correct. Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) denied that it will reimburse Florida residents for food spoiled as result of power outages caused by Hurricane Irma. 

"Unfortunately, there has been false information spread that FPL will reimburse customers for food losses as a result of Hurricane Irma. This is not the case," says a press release issued by the company. "FPL does not reimburse customers for food losses as a result of any natural disaster, including hurricanes."

Pages