Hurricane Irma

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Relief is coming to Pasco County’s agricultural community with a Disaster Assistance Session, Thursday, Oct. 12.

New research from the University of South Florida suggests evacuating nursing home patients before a storm increases the chance of both hospitalization and death.

A Republican state senator — and funeral director — is suggesting that a South Florida nursing home may not be to blame for 14 deaths that occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Monroe County released a preliminary damage assessment of residential structures in the unincorporated parts of the county Wednesday. 

Two women who lived at a Florida nursing home that lost air conditioning during Hurricane Irma have died, bringing to 14 the number of fatalities linked to the home.


Bill Seeks Priority For Nursing Home Power Restoration

Oct 9, 2017

A House Republican on Friday proposed a measure that seeks to ensure power restoration for nursing homes and hospitals is a priority after hurricanes and other emergencies.

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.

Irma's Agriculture Toll Tops $2.5 Billion

Oct 5, 2017

Hurricane Irma caused more than $2.5 billion in damage to Florida's agriculture industry, with citrus growers and nurseries suffering big losses, according to a preliminary report released Wednesday by the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

In some parts of the Keys, people are still salvaging what they can of their belongings, or figuring out where they will live.

In Key West, local and state leaders gathered Wednesday to send one message: they are open for business.

"Restaurants are open. Hotels are open. Every tourist in the country, in the world, needs to come back to Key West and the Florida Keys," said Gov. Rick Scott.

He spoke at an oceanfront hotel flanked by Key West officials and tourism promoters who were carrying conch shells and waving Conch Republic flags.

One Florida lawmaker believes workers who evacuate because of an emergency don’t deserve to lose their jobs. A new bill would give the state’s employees more protections.

In the hours before Hurricane Irma came barreling towards Florida, Gloria Guity and her adult children went to five different shelters before they arrived at Miami Edison Senior High School.

“Here is better than where we were,” Guity, 76, said sitting at a cafeteria table. “Here I told them to put me next to the bathroom so at least I can take them to the bathroom.”

The federal government is expanding the length of the open enrollment period for Medicare and Obamacare health insurance policies in Florida and other states impacted by disaster.

Florida Prepares For Tourism Season After Irma

Oct 2, 2017

Two months from now, the Atlantic hurricane season ends, just as Florida’s tourism season begins.

Gov. Rick Scott announced last month that Florida had the highest number of visitors in a six-month period in its history. Nearly 61 million people visited the state in the first half of 2017.

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.

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.

When Hurricane Irma slammed into the U.S. Virgin Islands, Alvin Joseph was home in St. Thomas with his wife, his oldest granddaughter and four of his great-grandkids.

As the wind howled, Joseph and his wife went into the little boys’ bedroom to get a mattress and box spring for protection.

“The ceiling tiles had already disappeared out of the roof and we could see the sky,” says Joseph. “By the time we left out of the bedroom to go back in the living room—whoosh—roof was gone.”

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.

We're starting something new on Florida Matters. Once a month we're going to gather together some experienced reporters from around the state for perspective on the important news happening in Florida.

This week we're talking about the consequences of Hurricane Irma, and lessons learned from the storm.

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