LISTEN LIVE

2017 hurricane season

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. 

A second industry group has filed a legal challenge against an effort by Gov. Rick Scott's administration to require nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to quickly install generators that can power air-conditioning systems.

Jack Parrish / NOAA

An important storm tracking jet, known as a hurricane hunter, is out of commission in the midst of a busy hurricane season.

The 927th Air Refueling Wing

Thousands of American military personnel are now assigned to the Hurricane Maria relief effort. Among them is the 45th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron based at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base.

Air Force Major Gavril Goodman was on one of the first humanitarian evacuation flights that landed in St. Croix five days after the Category 5 hurricane destroyed the island's power grid.

National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline

 

There is a sort of criminal cottage industry that crops up when disasters go down. 

And there are task forces are made up of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to fight illegal activity following Hurricane Irma.


Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

Comics fans and celebrities will come together this weekend at MegaCon Tampa Bay. Attendees will even get the chance to meet Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee.

Wikimedia Commons

Florida students missed several days of school because of Hurricane Irma.

Pam Stewart, the state’s Education Commissioner has waived two make-up days for Florida schools and now local districts are announcing plans for the remaining missed school days.

Gas Prices Decreasing After Hurricanes Harvey And Irma

Sep 26, 2017

Gas prices are on a steady decline after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. 

Standing outside his church in Palmetto Bay on Sunday, Jesus Figueroa listened intently to information coming across his iPhone from Puerto Rico on Zello. The walkie-talkie app transmits messages on group channels when cell phone service is a challenge – and in Puerto Rico right now it’s an epic ordeal.

Florida Publi Radio Emergency Network

Even with two months left in the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, it's already been one of the more active ones in recent years, at least here in Florida.

Pages