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2019 hurricane season

Storm Clouds
Wikimedia Commons

Tropical Storm Nestor is causing changes to a number of weekend events.

The Tampa Bay region should brace for strong storm surge, gusty winds and periods of heavy rain from a system, now Tropical Storm Nestor, that intensifed on Friday as it speeds across the Gulf of Mexico on a path toward the Florida Panhandle.

gulf storm
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Portions of the Tampa Bay coastline are under a storm surge watch as a potential tropical system that is making its way east across the Gulf of Mexico is forecast to produce a rainy, gusty weekend.

Editor's note: This story includes images that some readers may find disturbing.

Sherrine Petit Homme LaFrance was crying on the side of a road when China Laguerre spotted her.

Hurricane Dorian destroyed LaFrance's newly constructed house in Great Abaco Island on the northern edge of the Bahamas the same night she moved in. That was on Sept. 1.

Researchers at the University of South Florida found that one month after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, diabetic seniors living in areas that were impacted by the storms were 40 percent more likely to die than elderly diabetics in unaffected areas.

All tropical storm watches related have been discontinued in Florida, as confidence increases that Tropical Storm Humberto will stay well offshore of the Atlantic Coast this weekend.

National Hurricane Center map showing Tropcal Storm Humberto is likely headed out to sea after affecting the already damaged Bahamas.
National Hurricane Center

A tropical depression near the Bahamas has strengthened into Tropical Storm Humberto.

Parts of the northwestern Bahamas that were recently pummeled by Hurricane Dorian are expected to experience tropical-storm-force winds and heavy rain over the weekend, but not significant storm surge.

As people continue to search for loved ones in the rubble across Bahamian islands, the government now says the number of missing is down to

Weather map showing potential track of Tropical Depression Nine
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

A tropical depression has formed near the Bahamas and is likely to bring heavy winds and rain to islands already hit hard by Hurricane Dorian.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Tropical Depression Nine formed Friday afternoon and could become a tropical storm by Saturday. The storm is expected to have some impact on portions of Florida.

A number widely cited by media outlets and elected officials since Hurricane Dorian pounded the Bahamas is incorrect, the United Nations has acknowledged.

In a press briefing last Friday, Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations, said: “We believe that about 70,000 people are currently homeless in the Bahamas.”

Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

The Bahamas' government is sharing a wish list of materials to help the country provide food and shelter for residents who are still reeling from Hurricane Dorian. Officials say they need lots of help and supplies — but they also want targeted donations.

"Officials here for instance don't want to be inundated with cans of green beans when what they really need is telephone poles," NPR's Jason Beaubien reports from the capital city, Nassau.

They're facing a relief and reconstruction job that's likely to go on for years.

Tropical System May Bring Wet Weekend to Florida

Sep 11, 2019

A tropical wave moving through the southeastern Bahamas is likely to bring rain to parts of Florida this weekend, but there is an increasing chance it will become a tropical depression or tropical storm as it does so.

The tropical wave is expected to move toward the west-northwest along the periphery of a strong high pressure ridge that has been responsible for a stretch of dry, hot weather over the Southern United States in recent days. Strong westerly wind shear and dry air are the primary reasons why the tropical wave is unlikely to develop over the next 2 days.

In the Bahamas, the damage Hurricane Dorian wreaked on roads, airports, communication grids and other infrastructure is presenting a logistical nightmare for emergency responders and aid workers trying to get basic supplies to the neediest storm victims.

Acting NOAA Administrator Neil Jacobs said "nobody's job is at risk" after National Weather Service forecasters in Alabama contradicted President Trump's claim last week that the state would be hit hard by Hurricane Dorian.

Jacobs delivered a keynote speech Tuesday at the National Weather Association's annual meeting in Huntsville, Ala. He defended a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration statement issued Friday that was widely seen as backing the president, but he also expressed support for the National Weather Service and its forecasters.

FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA | Claudina Swann is searching for an object in the storm debris scattered around her backyard in the Bahamas.

“Something was here, and I was trying to, well, I don’t know,” she says in a perplexed voice. Maybe it’s part of a light pole. A wooden chest. A truck tire. Swann doesn’t really know what the object is. But she’s obsessed with finding it.

She says it saved her life and the lives of her two youngest children as they were being swept away last Monday during Hurricane Dorian.

More than a thousand Bahamians emerged from the arrival doors at the Port of Palm Beach on Saturday morning, many looking for family members and friends who were taking them in.

Conditions are growing increasingly dire in the Bahamas almost a week after Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Caribbean nation.

Food, water and other supplies are rapidly running out, and residents are waiting desperately to evacuate the devastated Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama. Officials announced late Friday that the death toll had risen to 43, with 35 dead in Abaco and eight in Grand Bahama.

Hurricane Dorian delivered a minor blow to much of Florida this week after spending a deadly day and a half over the northern Bahamas. Dorian is the fifth Category Five storm in the Atlantic in four years—after Matthew, Irma, Maria, and Michael. Climate researchers now see a trend of hurricanes stalling in coastal areas like Dorian.

Other recent examples of hurricanes stalling and dumping large amounts of rain over a small area include Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and Hurricane Florence in 2018. The longer a hurricane stalls, the more rain it pours on that area.

For people who don't have consistent access to food, the effects of Hurricane Dorian could linger for weeks.

Floridians who were scheduled to receive federal SNAP benefits, or food stamps, between Sept. 1 and 14 were allowed to get that help early, on Aug. 31, so they could prepare for the storm. But advocates worry they could run out of food by mid-September.

FTC tips for verifying hurricane relief charities.
Federal Trade Commission

In the wake of disasters such as Hurricane Dorian, it is common for new charities aimed at disaster relief to crop up. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody advises donors to be mindful while giving to unfamiliar disaster relief charities.

Florida Attorney General scam hotline number, 866-9NO-SCAM
Florida Office of the Attorney General

As Hurricane Dorian makes its way north, reports of price gouging continue to rise along Florida's east coast.

Hurricane Dorian Isn't Moving Because The Upper Atmosphere Is Too Calm

Sep 2, 2019

Powerful Hurricane Dorian has been going nowhere because nothing high up is making it budge.

It may sound strange when talking about a storm that once had 185 mph winds, but it's actually been too calm high in the atmosphere. While this has been horrible for the Bahamas, where the storm's pounding has been relentless, it may help spare Florida a bit, meteorologists said.

Health Facilities Evacuated As Dorian Looms

Sep 2, 2019
The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills where 12 people died after a power failure following Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Google Maps

Florida officials said Monday that 72 nursing homes and assisted living facilities and seven hospitals on the state’s East Coast had been evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Dorian.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks Monday morning at a press conference about Hurricane Dorian at the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.
Gov. Ron DeSantis' Facebook page

With powerful Hurricane Dorian at a near standstill over the Bahamas, Florida officials impatiently waited and completed preparations Monday as the historic storm was forecast to deliver a blow to the state’s East Coast.

When Hurricane Dorian was approaching Florida as a Category 4 storm reminiscent of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Miamians and South Floridians included some kind of spiritual practices in their hurricane prep plans. 

National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Dorian struck the northern Bahamas as a catastrophic Category 5 storm Sunday, its record 185 mph winds ripping off roofs, overturning cars and tearing down power lines as hundreds hunkered down in schools, churches and shelters.

Dog in a cage being evacuated ahead of Hurricane Gustav in Aug. 2008.
FEMA

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association has urged hotels to relax their pet policies for people who are fleeing Hurricane Dorian.

Abe Aboraya / WMFE

After 12 people died when a nursing home lost power following Hurricane Irma, the state required all such facilities to have generators.

A pharmacist looks at a shelving unit full of pill bottles.
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Gov. Ron DeSantis' emergency declaration has activated a Florida statue that requires insurance companies and pharmacies allow early prescription refills.

What To Put In A Hurricane Emergency Supply Kit

Aug 29, 2019
The Florida Department of Health

With Hurricane Dorian approaching Florida, the Florida Department of Health has put together a checklist for hurricane supply kites.

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