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Hurricane Irma

Duke, TECO Ask To Hike Rates After Irma

Dec 29, 2017

Pointing to Hurricane Irma and other recent storms, Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric Company on Thursday filed proposals to collect millions from customers.

On this week's Florida Matters More podcast, host Robin Sussingham is joined by Zac Anderson of the Sarasota Herald Tribune; and WUSF's Steve Newborn. They discuss politicians who've shaken things up this year, like House Speaker Richard Corcoran and attorney John Morgan, plus what they consider the most under-reported stories of the year.

Be sure to subscribe to Florida Matters More, and get the view from the "other side of the mic" every week.

As the state House plows through a long and potentially expensive menu of options to recover from Hurricane Irma and brace for Florida's next hurricane, Senate President Joe Negron is confident the storm that walloped the state in September won't blow a hole in the upcoming budget.

Massive hurricanes, corrupt politicians and the tragic death of a famous manatee – there was a lot of big news in Florida this year. This week on Florida Matters we talk with local journalists about some of 2017’s top local stories.


Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

It's been three months since Hurricane Irma hit Florida, and some counties are still cleaning up.

While Pinellas County is getting closer to getting all of the debris out of their area, harder-hit Polk County is setting final collection dates.

Floridians have until December 31st to sign up for a health insurance plan through Obamacare, thanks to Hurricane Irma.

House Republicans on Monday unveiled an $81 billion disaster aid package to help hurricane-ravaged communities and states hit by wildfires, almost double the amount requested by President Donald Trump.

Irma Insurance Claims Near 866,000 As Pace Slows

Dec 18, 2017

Estimated insured losses from Hurricane Irma have topped $6.55 billion, with the number of claims approaching 866,000, according to information released Monday by the state Office of Insurance Regulation.

The latest report showed that 865,974 claims from the September storm had been filed with insurance companies as of Friday, with 719,512 involving residential properties.

It's no secret that we've had a rough fall and winter with natural disasters. Even as we write this, fires burn in Southern California, adding to the previous wildfires in the northern part of the state that burned over 245,000 acres in October.

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey devastated communities across Florida and Texas, while touching communities in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, the Carolinas and Louisiana.

Florida Office Of The Governor

Florida got thousands of complaints about price-gouging when Hurricane Irma hit, but so far Attorney General Pam Bondi's office has settled just one case.

Florida homeowners who insure their property through a state-created insurance company will see an average 6.6 percent increase in their multi-peril coverage next year, regulators announced Wednesday.

Deadly Storm Could Prompt Big Changes By Florida Legislators

Dec 5, 2017

Florida legislators say the state may need to extend a major toll road and create gasoline fuel farms in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Sister Margaret Ann greets her students as they’re dropped off to school in the morning.

She helps open car doors, gushes over a student’s cute dog and warns a group heading to the Everglades on a field trip to be on their best behavior because alligators are nothing to play with.

55,000 agriculture-related jobs are in danger in the wake of Hurricane Irma, according to a recent University of Florida analysis. Economist and study author Alan Hodges says the storms’ impacts to Florida’s growers are unprecedented. Because the state's second largest industry depends on so many other suppliers and distributors, and fuels so many local economies, Hodges says the ripple effects are not limited to growers alone. 

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

Four Florida deputies have been suspended for allegedly neglecting their duties during Hurricane Irma.

In the aftermath of any major storm, we can expect to see many toppled and uprooted trees in South Florida. But recently one massive tree in a public park in Miami-Dade was tagged with a heartfelt plea for passersby.

Stuck on the tree were two handwritten signs reading “I’m alive. So stand me up!”

“It's a good intention,” says Adrian Hunsberger, urban horticulture agent with the University of Florida/Miami-Dade County Extension Office. “But usually if it's blown over and it's laying on its side it's really beyond salvaging.”

As Hurricane Irma churned through South Florida, Patrick O'Quinn felt trapped.

He'd moved to Miami about three months before the storm and described himself as "just getting on his feet in terms of finding a place to live." As the storm bore down, O'Quinn decided to fly to Memphis, where he has family.

The impacts of hurricanes on people are well documented, and can scar communities for years. But the ecological effects of storms aren’t as obvious. 

12 Of 14 Nursing Home Deaths After Irma Ruled Homicides

Nov 27, 2017

Authorities say the deaths of 12 of the 14 Florida nursing home patients who died after Hurricane Irma have been ruled homicides.

The Sun Sentinel reports that autopsy results from the Broward County medical examiner's office were released Wednesday.

No arrests have been made. Police spokeswoman Miranda Grossman says the investigation will continue and part of that will be determining who should be charged.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

A Florida teacher whose classroom books went missing after her school was used as a hurricane shelter during Hurricane Irma has received hundreds of donated books and cash to buy even more.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is touting a record tourism despite a challenging Hurricane season.

It’s crunch-time for the Federal Emergency Management Agency as Floridians impacted by Hurricane Irma scramble to meet this Friday’s deadline to register for disaster relief.

Bay News 9

Florida is still getting a record number of tourists even though the state was hit by a devastating hurricane.

Florida's $2.5 billion request for federal disaster relief for its agriculture industry after Hurricane Irma might not be enough.

It’s been over two months since Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida, but Floridians are still dealing with mold and many are just now discovering they have it.

Florida lawmakers want to stop their colleagues from spending money meant for affordable housing on other projects. The move comes after Hurricane Irma battered and destroyed Floridians’ homes.

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.

The effort to put emergency money for food into the pockets and bank accounts of South Florida meant waiting in  lines and in court this week.

D-SNAP is the government program for disaster food assistance. The federal government program returned to the region for three days this week after overwhelming demand last month led to long lines and police shutting down some distribution sites over public safety concerns. 

State regulators say 21 nursing homes are not following new rules put in place after residents died in a South Florida nursing home.

For years Floridians have been facing a growing need for affordable housing. This year’s hurricanes are making the situation worse.

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