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2017 Florida hurricane season

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long says the government response to Hurricane Irma has shifted from saving lives to one of beginning the long recovery process.

Long said at a briefing Friday that good progress is being made in getting people back into their homes or into temporary housing such as apartments or hotels. About 10,000 people in Florida remain in emergency shelters.

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. 

The power outages that followed hurricanes Harvey and Irma are unfortunately a common reality with powerful storms, just as is the fact that the affected people need to eat.

Hurricane diets can consist of a lot of processed, prepackaged food, but with a bit of imagination or preparation, hot meals are possible.

After Hurricane Irma hit Florida, Tara Gatscher and her family returned to their house in Tampa Bay to find that while the house didn't have any terrible damage, they didn't have power.

North Tampa Branch Library, HCPLC.org

Hillsborough County Libraries are providing assistance to residents affected by Hurricane Irma. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Administrator was at the Lee County Emergency Operations Center Wednesday. 


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.

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.

The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on Texas may be impacting Irma victims in Florida trying to register for federal assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

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.

It’s the middle of the day in Deland, a city between Orlando and Daytona Beach. Temperatures today are in the 90s.

Days after Hurricane Irma battered South Florida, Rufus James walked through his Liberty City neighborhood in Miami looking for paid work to chop down trees and clean up yards.

Like many Floridians, James, 57, was going on day four with no electricity. At home, he had three grandchildren to feed. They’re eating “cornflakes and whatever we can come up with. I’m looking for some food,” he said.

Before the storm, James said he worked odd jobs — helping elderly neighbors mow their lawns or move heavy items. Post storm, no one was paying for help yet.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Tampa Bay area residents witnessed an unusual sight ahead of Hurricane Irma’s arrival Sunday.

In a case of a kind of reverse storm surge, Hillsborough Bay at Bayshore Boulevard was one of many places in Florida that experienced temporary lowered water levels in the hours leading up to the hurricane.

Robin Sussingham / WUSF Public Media

Hurricane Irma has left the state. Now, the cleanup begins. From downed tree limbs to damaged household items like appliances and furniture. Every city and county has its own guidelines for pick-up.

Debris collection, rescheduled trash pickup and guidelines on how to handle the debris are listed below. Be sure to check what your service provider or local government requires.

Gov. Rick Scott visited the Florida Power & Light staging area at Southwest Florida International Airport on Tuesday. He also visited flooded areas of Southwest Florida.

Utility trucks, prepping to restore power to the region were lined up far into the horizon. Scott briefly spoke to reporters about the power situation in the area. 

"I've been to shelters. I know everyone wants their power back," said Scott. "It's the biggest thing we can do right now, but we gotta be safe about it." 

WLRN News and its partners have reporters on the ground throughout the islands. We will be posting their updates as they come in. 

Screenshot of MyPasco app.

Pasco County residents can now take photos of Hurricane Irma damage on their property and upload them to the free “MyPasco” app.

Those photos will be plotted on a map to help with damage assessment.

Hillsborough County Schools

Many schools in the Tampa Bay area are just like residences -- no power.  That means none of the schools will be open Tuesday. Some will be closed even longer.

Share Your Irma Story

Sep 11, 2017
Mary Shedden / WUSF Public Media

WUSF News is gathering stories from Tampa Bay area residents who weathered Hurricane Irma We’d like to hear from you. You can reach us in several ways:

  • Reach us on Facebook or on twitter @wusf
  • Email: news@wusfnews.org with your name, location and your situation.
  • Leave us a voice mail on our Florida Matters phone line by calling: 813-396-WUSF.

A massive but weakened Hurricane Irma zeroed in on the Tampa Bay region early Monday after hammering much of Florida with roof-ripping winds, gushing floodwaters and widespread power outages.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

Even before the bands of Hurricane Irma swept through Pinellas County, emergency officials were preparing for the aftermath.

They told people who've left the county not to rush back as soon as the storm has passed - because they won't be allowed back in.

Too much water is typically the problem when storms blow through Tampa Bay. But for a few brief hours Sunday, the bay's fortunes were reversed as Hurricane Irma's counterclockwise winds blew the water out.

Hurricane Irma is having an impact on the entire Tampa Bay area. WUSF has reporters spread out across the region. This county-by-county breakdown will be updated continuously as the storm passes.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Starting at 6 p.m. Sunday, all Tampa residents are under a mandatory curfew, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced during a late morning news conference carried live on Facebook.

He said the curfew will be indefinite or until a neighborhood is deemed safe from downed power lines, overturned trees and storm debris.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

It seemed an obvious solution to Michael Oded, who was asked at the last minute Friday to get sandbags and secure his friend’s Davis Islands home from flooding.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Hurricane Irma's projected path is moving west and state leaders are urging Floridians to prepare for the worst.

Evacuation orders have been issued and shelters are open.  

Here's a list of shelters, evacuation zones and other need-to-know information as Hurricane Irma approaches: 

SHELTERS

Pinellas County

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

A massive but weakened Hurricane Irma zeroed in on the Tampa Bay region early Monday after hammering much of Florida with roof-ripping winds, gushing floodwaters and widespread power outages.

WUSF Public Media

Access to the Pinellas County barrier islands had already been restricted since Friday morning to residents, business owners and employees in advance of Hurricane Irma. 

Starting Sunday at 6 a.m., no one will be allowed in - even if they live there. 

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Hurricane Irma's leading edges whipped palm trees and kicked up the surf as the storm spun toward Florida with 120 mph winds Saturday on a projected new track that could put Tampa — not Miami — in the crosshairs.

Tampa has not taken a direct hit from a major hurricane in nearly a century.

Updated at 2:23 a.m. ET on Sunday

After battering Cuba on Saturday morning, the eye of Hurricane Irma has its sights set on Florida as a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center early Sunday. The NHC's latest forecast shows the storm's center shifting west from Miami, and even Tampa, to target St. Petersburg.

Florida braces for direct hit

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

The biggest danger to life and property from Hurricane Irma could come from storm surge that forces seawater inland, which could topple houses, isolate residents who don't evacuate and make drowning an imminent threat, the National Hurricane Center is warning.

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