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2018 hurricane season

Updated 11:40 a.m. ET Sunday

Florence weakened to a tropical depression Sunday morning, the National Hurricane Center said, but flooding continued to be a major danger throughout the Carolinas.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the storm is more dangerous now than when it made landfall. "Flood waters are still raging across parts of our state, and the risk to life is rising with the angry waters," Cooper said in a news conference on Sunday.

"The threat of flooded roads keeps spreading," Cooper continued.

A new Florida rule requiring generators at all nursing homes and assisted- living facilities passed last legislative session after Hurricane Irma knocked out power to much of Florida for an extended period. In Hollywood, Florida 14 people in a rehabilitation center died, and 12 were ruled homicide. A swift push to pass legislation requiring generatros followed, and was signed by Governor Rick Scott in late March. 

As Hurricane Florence makes landfall in the Carolinas, in Washington the focus is how the Trump administration will respond to the storm's aftermath, and the inevitable property damage, power outages and potential loss of life.

The federal response is coordinated by FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The agency's reputation suffered last year following its lagging response to Hurricane Maria. And while President Trump and FEMA officials insist they're ready this time, there have already been missteps that have some believing the agency's confidence may be misplaced.

Updated at 5:20 a.m. ET Saturday

Tropical Storm Florence is still a slow-moving giant that poses danger to people in North and South Carolina, as its storm surge and intense rains bring high floodwaters to towns both on the coast and inland.

The storm has been linked to at least five deaths, a toll that is expected to climb.

On September 11, 2001, Thomas Traynor, an officer with the New York Police Department, ran towards the World Trade Center to conduct search and rescues after the deadly terror attack. Seventeen years later, he sped towards North Carolina to help people as Hurricane Florence approached the coast.

Many seaports and airports along the southeastern U.S. coastline have been shut down, more than 1,000 flights have been canceled, and some highways and bridges in low-lying coastal areas could close soon, as Hurricane Florence gets closer to making landfall.

Authorities in coastal areas that lie in the path of the massive storm are urging residents one last time to evacuate.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster's message is pretty blunt: If you live in an evacuation zone, hit the road soon.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue

While people in the Mid-Atlantic states make their last-minute preparations for Hurricane Florence, emergency responders from the Tampa Bay region are there in North Carolina, helping with medical evacuations. 

Updated at 5:10 a.m. ET on Thursday

The outer rain bands of Hurricane Florence were beginning to be felt in North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center, as the Category 2 storm, with sustained winds of 110 mph and the likelihood of "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall," ranged closer to a landfall.

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

In Charleston, S.C., a major interstate is reversing direction for about 100 miles, sending every lane inland — even earlier than originally scheduled.

In the Outer Banks, N.C., where tourists and residents rely on a few bridges and ferries for access to the mainland, authorities are warning residents to get out immediately. The state's governor has taken the unprecedented step of issuing a state-level, mandatory evacuation order, instead of relying on local governments.

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. 

Updated at 6:15 a.m. ET on Wednesday

The severity of Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm, is intensifying and triggering hurricane warnings along the coasts of the Carolinas, the National Hurricane Center announced in its 5 a.m. Wednesday update.

Scott Offers Help To States As Hurricane Looms

Sep 11, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott offered resources and assistance Monday to the governors of North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia as powerful Hurricane Florence threatened the Southeast U.S. coast. 

Florence rapidly intensified into a "potentially catastrophic" Category 4 storm Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center said in a special statement at 12 pm. This was based on data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft's most recent pass through the eye, which found maximum sustained winds near 130 mph and a central pressure of 946 mb. The storm was located 925 miles south-southeast of Bermuda, or 1230 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west at 13 mph.

NASA Worldview / Wikimedia Commons

Utility firms say thousands of customers remain without power as bands of rain from Gordon continued to soak some areas.

Gordon is expected to make landfall tonight as the fourth named hurricane of the season. The strong tropical storm is forecast to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday evening as it moves northward. Conditions are favorable due to the warmer waters and the lack of strong winds aloft.

The outer rain bands of Gordon have been bringing squalls and heavy rain to the western Florida panhandle as the tropical storm moves closer to making landfall along the north-central Gulf coast in Mississippi tonight.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Tropical Storm Gordon is strengthening and should hit the central U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane late Tuesday before moving over the lower Mississippi Valley on Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Gordon Forms over South Florida

Sep 3, 2018

Tropical Storm Gordon formed Monday morning near Key Largo, Florida and is expected to bring heavy rain, gusty winds and possible tornadoes to portions of South Florida Monday afternoon and night.

The storm is then likely to continue strengthening as it moves into the eastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday, before making landfall across the central Gulf Coast states Tuesday night.

SUNDAY EVENING UPDATE: The National Hurricane Center has begun issuing advisories on Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven, which is forecast to become Tropical Storm Gordon by Tuesday in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. As of 5 pm, the system was located about 250 miles southeast of Miami, moving west-northwest at 15 mph. A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, and eastern Louisiana for the potential of tropical storm conditions Tuesday night and Wednesday. Advisories will be considered for sections of South Florida later this evening if the system continues to organize and potentially develop further overnight.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

A tropical wave will move across the Florida peninsula this weekend, enhancing rainfall and potentially washing out holiday plans for many Floridians.

The Tropical Atlantic is Coming Alive

Aug 31, 2018

A new tropical storm is developing in the far east Atlantic and forecast to become a hurricane this weekend.

The National Hurricane Center began advisories on Potential Tropical Cyclone Six Thursday morning, stating that the system lacked a well-defined center but was likely to strengthen over the next 24 hours. A Tropical Storm Warning was issued by the government of the Cabo Verde Islands for Santiago, Fogo and Brava.

Hurricane Lane, now downgraded to a tropical storm, is expected to continue to dump heavy rain in Hawaii on Saturday, as officials warn of flash flooding that could inundate homes and roadways after already pouring more than 3 feet of rain across the island.

Dozens of residents have been forced to evacuate their homes over the past two days, wading through waist-high water, and sometimes spreading brush fires, to safety, while thousands of others remain in shelters.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

U.S. forecasters say the Atlantic hurricane season may be less active than they previously predicted.

Florida’s Public Service Commission (FPSC) has new recommendations to improve electrical systems after a hurricane. 

In their new report, “Review of Florida’s Electric Utility Hurricane Preparedness and Restoration Actions 2018,” the FPSC used data collected from past hurricane reviews and identified tree trimming, underground power lines and utility workers as critical areas to hurricane preparedness.

It's August. And as we approach the most intense period of the hurricane season, a lot of us are thinking: How warm are the waters in the Atlantic and the Caribbean? How much fuel is out there for hurricanes to feed on?

What most of us don’t know is that the ocean waters here have an unusual feature that can actually help fuel hurricanes. We’re learning more about that now thanks to researchers like Johna Rudzin at the University of Miami.

Dinorah Prevost / WUSF Public Media

As sea levels continue to rise in Florida, repeated flooding and storm surge are major concerns for Tampa Bay.

David Hastings, a climate scientist at Eckerd College, said the region could experience some of the most severe effects of climate change. He told the civic group Cafe Con Tampa on Friday that in the next 30 years, sixty-five thousand homes in Florida will flood twice a month affecting 100,000 Florida residents.

The Weekend Tale of Two Tropical Storms

Jul 9, 2018

July is usually a quiet month in the tropical Atlantic. Not this year. Two tropical storms have formed in the past four days, one briefly becoming a hurricane and the other expected to by late Monday. Neither system is an imminent or significant threat. Floridians, however, might want to keep a close eye on one.

Beryl Barreling West

None of the more than 1,000 nursing homes and assisted living facilities in South Florida are on Florida Power & Light’s highest priority list for power restoration.

 

FPL rejected Broward and Miami-Dade counties’ lists, which included these facilities, according to the Sun Sentinel.

July is usually a quiet month in the tropical Atlantic. Not this year. Two tropical storms have formed in the past four days, one briefly becoming a hurricane and the other expected to by late Monday. Neither system is an imminent or significant threat. Floridians, however, might want to keep a close eye on one.

Beryl barreling west

Caribbean Comes Alive, but Not a Likely Threat

Jun 12, 2018

An area of disturbed weather in the southwest Caribbean Sea has caught the eye of forecasters at the National Hurricane Center. In an outlook issued Monday afternoon, the system was labeled as having a “low chance” of developing over the next five days.

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