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Hurricane Irma

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Hurricane Irma's projected path is still not clear, but state leaders are urging Floridians to prepare for the worst.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco Counties begin evacuations today as the first hurricane warnings were issued for parts of southern Florida with the state braced for what could be a catastrophic hit from Hurricane Irma over the weekend.

Robert Neff via Wikimedia Commons

While Florida prepares for Hurricane Irma, Tampa Bay hotels are experiencing a cycle of room reservations.

As east coast residents are coming to Tampa, some tourists are leaving the area ahead of the storm.

Samara Sodos / Port Tampa Bay

Supplying gasoline to evacuating Floridians is a top priority according to the governor. 

That has meant an accelerated tempo at Port Tampa Bay, which provides the gas, aviation fuel, diesel and oil to Central Florida and the Tampa Bay region.

Hurricane Irma evacuations now involve more than South Florida residents taking to the roads.

The 6th Air Mobility Wing at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base is temporarily evacuating its KC-135 refueling planes to McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas.

OneBlood is calling for blood donations ahead of Hurricane Irma.


Eugene Johnson purchased two loaves of bread and batteries for his flashlight. Those are his supplies in preparation for Hurricane Irma.

“I’m on fixed income,” said Johnson. “This hit me out of the blue. I had to pay my rent, my electricity bill and stuff like that.”

In his kitchen cabinet he already had a few cans of tuna and he plans to boils some eggs.

Johnson, 65, lives in an affordable housing complex in Miami and, like many of his neighbors who are also on fixed or limited income, he doesn’t own a car.

Miami police intends to involuntarily commit homeless individuals starting Friday if they refuse to move off the streets. Volunteer outreach teams through the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust began placing individuals in shelters Tuesday morning and will continue those efforts through Thursday.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson says the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is making preparations in the state for Hurricane Irma.

“FEMA is pre-positioning people and supplies to be able to come in right after the hurricane,” Nelson said Wednesday at a press conference at the Palm Beach County Emergency Operations Center.

But due to the recovery from Hurricane Harvey in Texas, the agency is set to run out of funds soon without an emergency funding authorization.

“If they don’t get it by Friday, they’re out of money,” Nelson said.

Most Florida Flood Zone Property Not Insured

Sep 7, 2017
Bayshore Boulevard in South Tampa routinely floods during thunderstorms.
WUSF Public Media

As Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida, an Associated Press analysis shows a steep drop in flood insurance across the state, including the areas most endangered by what could be a devastating storm surge.

In just five years, the state's total number of federal flood insurance policies has fallen by 15 percent, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency data.

Florida's property owners still buy far more federal flood insurance than any other state — 1.7 million policies, covering about $42 billion in assets — but most residents in hazard zones are badly exposed.

As Hurricane Irma closes in on Florida, and despite a slight shift, counties in the southwestern part of the state are bracing for impact. 


Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Hurricane Irma lashed Puerto Rico with heavy rain and powerful winds Wednesday night, leaving nearly 900,000 people without power as authorities struggled to get aid to small Caribbean islands already devastated by the historic storm.

Florida rushed to prepare for a possible direct hit on the Miami area by the Category 5 storm with potentially catastrophic 185 mph winds.

Kyanna Riggins

Residents across Florida have waited in lines for sandbags to fight the possibility of floods that Hurricane Irma may bring. Now, what to do with them?

Walt Disney World entrance.
Wikimedia Commons

As Hurricane Irma approaches Florida, tourism-related businesses are preparing for a potentially catastrophic impact.

Gas Buddy

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says the state is working to get gasoline to areas experiencing shortages in advance of Hurricane Irma.

In the meantime, a free mobile app may help Floridians find out which stations still have fuel.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Hurricane Irma's projected path is still not clear, but state leaders are urging Floridians to prepare for the worst. 

Some events around the Tampa Bay area have already been cancelled and county leaders are providing sandbags for residents who want them. 

Here's a list of closings and other need-to-know information as Hurricane Irma approaches: 

CLOSURES

State Bracing For Hurricane Irma

Sep 6, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott warned Floridians on Tuesday that powerful Hurricane Irma will start impacting the state by the end of the week — it's just not clear where.

Floridians are flocking to stores to stock up ahead of Hurricane Irma. Some locations are struggling to keep supplies on the shelves.

Irma already causing big changes to Florida sports schedules

Sep 6, 2017
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Hurricane Irma's looming arrival is already preventing the Miami Dolphins and Florida International from hosting their respective home openers this weekend, with more changes almost certain to happen in the coming days.

The Dolphins were scheduled to host to Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon; FIU was to host Alcorn State on Saturday night. Officials decided on Tuesday that neither of those games will be played in South Florida, though they may be played elsewhere this weekend.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Hurricane Irma's projected path is still not clear, but state leaders are urging Floridians to prepare for the worst. 

As Hurricane Irma continues its uncertain path west, Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday the state is taking no chances getting prepared for what has become a massive storm.

Scott has activated 7,000 members of the National Guard and talked to President Trump Monday night, trying to making sure that federal resources now tied up with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey will be available. And state workers dispatched to Texas and Louisiana are on their way home.

Irma has become the most powerful hurricane on record in the Atlantic Ocean, not including the Caribbean or the Gulf of Mexico. It grew in size and strength Tuesday, and could bring catastrophic life-threatening wind, storm surge and rainfall to portions of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by Wednesday. Irma could also directly affect the remainder of the Bahamas, Cuba, and even portions of Florida later this week and weekend.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Hurricane Irma has strengthened into a Category 5 storm as it roared toward the northeast Caribbean on a path toward the U.S.

Scott Declares Emergency As Hurricane Irma Threatens State

Sep 5, 2017
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott said Sunday that he was never told by Homeland Security officials in 2016 when he was Florida's governor that Russian hackers had gained access to voter databases in two Florida counties ahead of the presidential election.
MyFloridaHouse.gov

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday placed all of Florida under a state of emergency as the projected path of Hurricane Irma — now a Category 5 storm — could take the powerful storm toward the southern tip of the state by the end of the week.

As Texas recovers from Hurricane Harvey, Floridians may be wondering how well the state could weather a similar storm.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Floridians are old pros when it comes to hurricane preparation, but these last few years of near hurricane drought may have taken the edge off storm preparation.

But Harvey's Texas devastation is a stark reminder about the kind of damage a major hurricane can do.


Irma Now a Category 4 with an Eye on Florida

Sep 4, 2017

Irma strengthened Monday afternoon to a Category 4 storm, and the latest forecast data suggests the Major Hurricane will approach South Florida this weekend. It was too soon to make or deny that call in the past few days, but it’s now time for all Floridians in a hurricane prone area - no matter which coast you live along - to take Irma seriously.

Major Hurricane Irma Churns Westward

Sep 4, 2017
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Hurricane Irma remains a major Category 3 hurricane and appears to be heading toward Florida this weekend.

As of 11 a.m. Monday morning, it was located about 560 miles to the east of the Leeward Islands.

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