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Hurricane Irma

A historic city pier on Florida's Gulf Coast that was damaged by Hurricane Irma will be torn down and rebuilt from scratch.

For years tourists have flocked to take photos at Key West's Southernmost Point Marker.

That came to a halt when the concrete buoy was damaged during Hurricane Irma. But the buoy is photo-ready again.

The Florida Keys News Bureau reports that the City of Key West hired Danny Acosta, the original artist, and artist Henry DelValle to repaint the graphics on the Florida Key's most photographed tourism icon.

Data confirms what many South Floridians might have guessed: the alarming impact of Hurricane Harvey in August likely motivated people to prepare early for Hurricane Irma last month. And that meant spending a lot of money. Think of it as plywood and Pop Tart spending.

Howard Webster’s third graders had “first-day jitters” on Sept. 18. But the first day of school had been nearly a month earlier.

Gateway Environmental K-8 Learning Center in Homestead was closed for seven school days because of Hurricane Irma, as were most other schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

“With the kids being out so long, it's like starting school all over again,” Webster said during an after-school event shortly after the storm.

Hurricane Irma Insurance Claims Hit $5.3 Billion In Florida

Oct 25, 2017

Potential insured losses from Hurricane Irma in Florida have crossed the $5 billion mark.

Hurricane Damage Prompts Delay Request In Corrine Brown Sentencing

Oct 25, 2017

Hurricane damage to Corrine Brown's Jacksonville home has prompted her attorneys to ask for a delay in the former congresswoman's sentencing hearing on federal fraud charges, according to our News4Jax partner.

The last shelter for Hurricane Irma in Florida closed over the weekend, and the people who left the shelter are now looking for transitional housing.

State officials say they have distributed more than $1 billion worth of food assistance following Hurricane Irma.

Survey teams this week completed an assessment of the condition of the Keys reef tract, from Biscayne Bay to Key West.

"It's very much like what's observable on land," said Sarah Fangman, superintendent of the 2,900-square-nautical-mile Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. "In some places, the impacts are pretty dramatic and visible and in other places they are much less. So we're finding the same is true underwater."

Even in the same location, the hurricane's impacts differ.

After waiting in long lines for food assistance cards after Hurricane Irma, some of the recipients in Miami-Dade are reporting the cards could not be used within the timeline they were given. 

The Department of Children and Families (DCF), which manages D-SNAP, the Florida disaster food assistance program, said it would take up to 72 hours for cards to be activated. In some cases, people were reporting a week later they still didn't  have any money on their cards. 

House Leaders Seek KidCare Waivers

Oct 23, 2017

The list of those asking Florida Gov. Rick Scott to waive insurance premium requirements for low-income families in 48 counties impacted by Hurricane Irma is growing.

With the impending arrival of Hurricane Irma, thousands of Floridians left the state because of potential high storm surge, which is the rise of sea level that results from wind forces.

Doug Constantine from Cape Coral asked: "With FEMA recently scaring several million people into an evacuation, where they predicted storm surge of almost 20 feet and they were wrong and they’ve been wrong before. How many times can they yell the sky is falling?

Due to Hurricane Irma, Florida lawmakers are warning their constituents that they may not have a lot of money this year for local projects. It comes as legislators across the state hold legislative delegation meetings where the public, local governments, and organizations outline their funding requests.

The endangered Key deer herd was already coming out of a tough year — the herd lost more than 100 animals to New World screwworm.

So when the eye of Hurricane Irma crossed the Lower Keys as a Category 4 storm, wildlife managers were worried. The Lower Keys is also the only place on the planet where Key deer live.

But recently completed population surveys came up with good news, said Dan Clark, manager of the four national wildlife refuges in the Keys, including Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge.

Latoya Williams was concerned about her first paycheck after Hurricane Irma.

She couldn’t go to work for seven days because the early childcare center where she teaches was closed because of the storm and its after-effects.

“Whatever I make is what I make,” said Williams. “I have no supplemental income. It really would have been hard and tight."

Like most hourly employees, Williams doesn’t get paid if she doesn’t show up to work— even if the reason is an act of nature. The economic impact of Irma could have a devastating affect on individuals who work hourly jobs.

More Variances Sought On Nursing Home Generators

Oct 17, 2017

At least 21 more long-term care providers have filed requests for variances with the state Agency for Health Care Administration as they seek additional time to comply with Gov Rick Scott's mandate that they add generators that can power air-conditioning systems.

Older or disabled Americans with Medicare coverage have probably noticed an uptick in mail solicitations from health insurance companies, which can mean only one thing: It’s time for the annual Medicare open enrollment.


At first there was no hint of distress in the 911 calls, no sense of a crisis unfolding. But newly released emergency calls from a sweltering Broward County nursing home that lost its air conditioning to Hurricane Irma showed staffers becoming increasingly agitated by a disaster that would eventually claim 14 elderly lives.

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.

Nursing Homes Seek Variances From Generator Requirement

Oct 16, 2017

As industry attorneys waged a legal battle over new rules that require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators that can power air-conditioning systems, providers worried that they cannot meet the mandate by Nov. 15 are asking for variances from the rules.

Excess water from Hurricane Irma is still making its way through Florida, exacerbating the significant water management challenges the state's faced this rainy season.

Governor Rick Scott wants to find better ways for the public to evacuate, in case of an emergency. He’s ordering an evaluation of the state’s roadways.

Hurricane Irma is throwing a wrench in Florida’s budget for the coming year.  Lawmakers were already facing a daunting challenge crafting a balanced budget.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is predicting this year’s Florida citrus crop will be the smallest since the 1940s. The state is slated to produce 54 million boxes, down from nearly 300 million in the 2000s.

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.

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.


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