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2018 hurricane season

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF

Florida's voters threatened by Hurricane Michael will get an extra day to register to vote ahead of the state's closely-watched races for governor and U.S. Senate.

Cities such as Kissimeee, Florida and Lafayette, Louisiana will be sending electrical crews to help with power outages caused by Hurricane Michael. Mayor Andrew Gillum and Utility Director Rob McGarrah say there will be consistent help to get power back as soon as the storm passes.

Scott Expands Emergency Declaration, Asks For Federal Aid

5 hours ago

With Hurricane Michael expected to blast Florida this week, Gov. Rick Scott on Monday expanded a state of emergency to include 35 counties and asked President Donald Trump for a declaration that would help provide federal assistance. 

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Michael was still barely a Category 2 hurricane late Tuesday morning as maximum sustained winds reached 110 mph. The storm is gathering more strenth as it heads toward Florida's northeast Gulf Coast, where  frantic coastal dwellers all along the panhandle are boarding up homes and seeking evacuation routes away from the dangerous storm heading their way.

Michael Kappel/Flickr

Michael became a hurricane Monday morning and is expected to strengthen before striking the Florida Panhandle later this week.

However, AAA does not currently expect the storm to have a direct impact on gasoline supplies or prices at the pump in Florida.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Updated at 2:12 a.m. Tuesday

Michael gained new strength over warm tropical waters amid fears it would swiftly intensify into a major hurricane before striking Florida's northeast Gulf Coast, where frantic coastal dwellers are boarding up homes and seeking evacuation routes away from the dangerous storm heading their way.

Update Sunday 1 pm: The National Hurricane Center issued an intermediary update Sunday afternoon to advise that “satellite wind data indicated the depression has strengthened” into a tropical storm and has now acquired the name Michael. The story below has been revised to include this new information.

Tropical Development Likely in the Gulf by Monday

Oct 7, 2018

A tropical depression or storm is likely to form near the Yucatan Peninsula by Monday. It is then forecast to move north and potentially threaten portions of the Florida's Gulf Coast by midweek. Floridians from Pensacola to Tampa should closely monitor the progress of this developing situation.

 

Florida Feeds Florence Victims

Sep 28, 2018

Florida has provided more than 180,000 pounds of fruits, vegetables, meats and grains to victims of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced Thursday. 

The first thing that hit Ashley Simpson when she opened her car door was the smell: a rotten, stale, mold smell, leftover from the sewage-contaminated floodwaters that engulfed her silver 2010 Chevrolet HHR Cruiser during Hurricane Florence. The next thing to hit her were the gnats flying out that had been breeding amid the mold for nearly a week.

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.

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