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2017 hurricane season

Abandoned Animals Strain System In Puerto Rico

Sep 22, 2018
Kaitlin Hall/WUFT

As the sun rises above San Juan’s Peninsula de Cantera neighborhood, stray pigs roam the streets looking for scraps of food.

Gisselle Garcia/WUFT

For nearly seven decades, generation after generation has operated Carlos Bonnet-Vargas’ bookstand on the colorful streets of Old San Juan.

With painted green shelves, messy piles of books and magazines and Puerto Rican flags flying high, the kiosk has attracted enough customers to keep each owner afloat.

But after Hurricane Maria, Bonnet-Vargas is struggling to make ends meet.

Puerto Rico National Guard

It’s been a year since Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico. Recovery continues on the devastated island, but transitions are also happening here in Florida, where many residents evacuated and some have chosen to stay.

A 42-year-old woman's neighborhood was devastated because of Irma’s storm surge. Some of her neighbors never returned. 

A 66-year-old woman in Key West is still waiting for her roof to be replaced.

A 43-year old mom's roof leaks and she wants to move out, but she can't afford to. 

A 59-year-old man's home emerged relatively unscathed amidst severe devastation and loss on Big Pine Key.

These four South Florida residents live with daily reminders of Hurricane Irma. 

A $50 million clean-up project to remove debris from Hurricane Irma has begun in the Florida Keys where a crew lifted a sunken motorhome from a canal.

Lawmakers Poised To Approve Citrus Farmer Money

Jul 19, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday urged the Joint Legislative Budget Commission to approve $340 million in federal block grant funding to help the state’s hurricane-ravaged citrus industry. 

Every few weeks, Fred and Melissa Bach host a neighborhood barbecue at their home in the Avenues, on Big Pine Key. Fred’s watching the grill, a barrel shaped rig with a smoker on the side. There are ribs, chicken, salmon — all sizzling and smelling good.

A neighborhood cookout on a Sunday afternoon is a normal thing in most places. But here, in this neighborhood full of mobile homes and ground level houses, these barbecues are a rare refuge of normalcy.

The Avenues took a direct blow from Hurricane Irma last September.

The island of Vieques, Puerto Rico, is an isolated place known both for its remote beaches and the decades during which the U.S. Navy used those beaches for bombing runs and training exercises.

Vieques has long been a hard place to stay for locals, but a good place for visitors. Now, nine months after Hurricane Maria, that dynamic is even more at play.

The federal government has approved Florida's request for $616 million that will be partially used to repair homes destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Irma last year.

Puerto Rico is working on building emergency management capabilities that would help the Caribbean island withstand future disasters, the head of the U.S. government agency that oversees disaster response said Wednesday, two days before the official start to the Atlantic hurricane season.

An opulent Florida hotel is spending tens of thousands of dollars to ship its two large generators to Puerto Rico.

The decision comes nearly a week after a blackout caused power outages for much of the fragile island still struggling to rebuild after Hurricane Maria.

Steven Shepard / FEMA

An island-wide blackout hit Puerto Rico on Wednesday after an excavator accidentally downed a transmission line, officials said, as the U.S. territory struggles to repair an increasingly unstable power grid nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria.

Staff Sgt. Carmen Fleischmann / Florida Army National Guard

Just like 2004 and 2005 – Florida will remember 2017 as the year of hurricanes especially Hurricane Irma. It was a year that the Florida National Guard learned some new lessons in disaster response.

Florida activated its National Guard troops days before Hurricane Irma made landfall on Sept. 10 in the Florida Keys.

Google Maps

Florida regulators say temperatures rose to 99 degrees in a sweltering nursing home under investigation for the deaths of 12 residents after Hurricane Irma.

One hundred days ago, powerful Category 4 Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico leaving the island severely crippled and the more than 3 million U.S. citizens desperate for help.

Now, Puerto Ricans on the island and U.S. mainland are feeling angry and the lack of progress and they are organizing to demand help for Puerto Rico.

Though life has improved for some Puerto Ricans on the island more than three months since Maria hit, the Caribbean island is still in recovery mode.

Floridians have two extra weeks to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

With the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season finally over, scientists are taking stock of what they say was a monumental year.

A total of 10 hurricanes swept the region. Six were major storms of Category 3 or higher, and three of those were Category 4 or higher when they made landfall, spreading havoc from the Caribbean to Texas.

The Atlantic Ocean is vast and has always made its own weather. But a typical year sees about six hurricanes, not 10. And three strong hurricanes hitting land — Harvey, Irma and Maria — is extraordinary.

So what's going on?

For coastal communities from Florida to Texas, this year's hurricane season may be a preview of what's to come. Scientists say with climate change, in the future we're likely to see more severe hurricanes and heavier rain events. In addition, as ice sheets melt, sea levels are rising faster, flooding low-lying coastal areas such as Miami.

Thursday marked the end of Hurricane Season, and Governor Rick Scott is noting lessons to apply next year.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

Four Florida deputies have been suspended for allegedly neglecting their duties during Hurricane Irma.

About a month before Hurricane Harvey slammed Texas with an amount of rain so immense forecasters said it could not happen more than once in a thousand years, a University of Miami scientist developing a new weather tool knew what might be in store for the Gulf coast.

“I can’t claim ‘problem solved’ or anything like that,” said Ben Kirtman, an atmospheric scientist at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. But his experimental model could “preemptively improve your chances of not having a catastrophe.”

Many residents are making daily visits to distribution sites, where the Army has set up portable water purification systems.

A North Carolina-based engineering battalion is making slow progress repairing roads that were blocked or damaged in Hurricane Maria. But months of work lies ahead.

USF Health

A pair of physicians from the University of South Florida have returned to Tampa after a trip to Puerto Rico, but they're already looking forward to going back to help in the island's long-term recovery.

SAN JUAN – Like many in Congress, Florida Senator Bill Nelson had been frustrated by not being able to see Puerto Rico’s hurricane destruction first hand. So Sunday he took a commercial flight to the U.S. island territory – and voiced some criticism of U.S. relief efforts.

Three Florida parks in the Keys opened to the public Friday for the first time since Hurricane Irma, as the state looks at overall storm damage to its parks topping $55 million.

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, shutting down the island’s roads and power systems, leaving many isolated and in the dark. Now thousands are evacuating the U.S. territory for the mainland. Many may settle in Florida’s purple counties ahead of the 2018 elections.

Carol Guzy for NPR

A pair of University of South Florida physicians left over the weekend for Puerto Rico with some much-needed medical supplies. But it's just the beginning of USF's outreach to the island.

The U.S. economy shed 33,000 jobs in September, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while unemployment fell to 4.2 percent.

The September payrolls drop broke a nearly seven-year streak of continuous job gains, but economists caution that the drop is likely representing the short-term consequences of bad weather, not a long-term shift in the job market.

Before this report, the economy had added an average of about 175,000 jobs per month; the unemployment rate has been at 4.3 or 4.4 percent since April.

Nate Intensifying and Accelerating Toward the Gulf

Oct 6, 2017

Tropical Storm Nate has moved back over the warm waters of the Caribbean and is accelerating toward the Gulf of Mexico. Nate is forecast to become a hurricane and make landfall in southeast Louisiana or southern Mississippi Saturday night. 

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