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Hurricane Maria

Ten-year-old Anthony Valencia says that after Hurricane Maria destroyed his home in Puerto Rico he played video games for a month until he was sick of them. Now his smile stretches wide when he talks about going back to school — on the U.S. mainland.

The media shapes public perception about current events, but that doesn’t mean we all see or hear the same things. A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a platform for “studying media ecosystems” that reveals how news events are framed by media outlets around the world.

For Yamyria Morales, her baby daughter and 2 year old son Jonael, home for now is a couple of cots in an elementary school gymnasium in Vega Alta, an hour west of San Juan.

"I've lost track of when I arrived here," Morales says. "It's been really hard."

Morales, a 25-year-old single mom, came to the shelter with her kids and her father just days after Hurricane Maria destroyed her wooden home in Sabana Hoyos, about 20 miles away.

"Whatever little I had, I lost," she says.

More than 5,000 students from Puerto Rico have enrolled in Florida public schools since Hurricane Maria.

In the seven weeks since the storm made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, the majority of schools in Puerto Rico still don't have electricity or running water.  While most students have settled in Central and South Florida, school systems across Tampa Bay were also impacted.

Javier Gonzalez has joined a human tide of more than 130,000 U.S. citizens arriving in Florida since Hurricane Maria wrecked Puerto Rico, grateful for a place to start over but resenting how their island has been treated since the disaster.

After Hurricane Harvey flooded her city of Houston in August, Dr. Jennifer McQuade planned to donate socks to those affected. Instead, surprised by the lack of medical care at a nearby shelter, McQuade, an oncologist, became the unofficial leader of a group of physicians and mothers providing emergency aid at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. She triaged patients, solicited donations and recruited more doctors to join.

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

After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, 18-year-old Ledishla Acevedo booked a flight to Miami in hopes of continuing her college education in Florida.

When she arrived at her cousin’s house here, she turned on the lights and started to cry.

Then she took a hot shower and cried some more.

Kyanna Riggins / WUSF Public Media

Volunteers from the Suncoast Animal League returned from their rescue trip in Puerto Rico Tuesday  night.

Along with them came more than 100 dogs and cats who were unable to be properly cared for due to the limited resources available following Hurricane Maria.

At Puerto Rico’s request, Florida Governor Rick Scott will travel to the devastated island Friday to offer advice about how to speed up efforts to restore the island’s power.

PATILLAS, Puerto Rico – Jan Carlo Pérez’s family has a farm in Patillas, Puerto Rico. It’s a town of lush green hillside forests known as the Caribbean island’s “emerald of the south.” But right now Patillas – close to where Hurricane Maria made landfall in September – is a struggling disaster casualty.

“You can see the barn is completely destroyed,” Pérez says during a walk around his property this month during a light drizzle. “We had fruit trees over there, the star fruit, the bread fruit. It’s all, it’s all gone….”

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.

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.

Hurricanes Leave Uncertainly In Florida Schools Enrollment

Oct 13, 2017

The impact of hurricanes may be a complicating factor as lawmakers try to figure out how many students are in Florida's public schools this year and how many might show up next year.

Caribbean American Civic Movement

Groups in the Tampa Bay area are mounting humanitarian missions to Puerto Rico and holding fundraisers for victims following Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has co-signed a letter asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to send more support to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Health-care funding was already tight before the storms, particularly in financially unstable Puerto Rico, where nearly half the population is covered by Medicaid.

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.

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.

51 Puerto Rican law students have signed up to enroll in universities. 18 schools, including seven in Florida, have agreed to help students fleeing the battered island.

Family members who fled Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated their town of Coamo gathered for dinner in a Lehigh Acres home this week.


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