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Hurricane Maria

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.


Wikimedia Commons

In the past decade, Puerto Rico has seen over 10 percent of their population leave for Florida and other parts of the U.S. mainland due to a deep economic crisis. This number is expected to spike as Tampa Bay area schools prepare for an influx of displaced students from Puerto Rico in the ongoing aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Around 4,000 hurricane evacuees from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands arrived at Port Everglades Tuesday aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

Anxious South Floridians reunited with family members fleeing the devastation of Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

  

Gloria Fredericks came from Saint Croix to stay with her two daughters in Pembroke Pines. Her home -- and neighborhood -- were destroyed by the storm.

Puerto Ricans fleeing the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria have already arrived at Florida’s public schools.

Broward County schools took in 128 hurricane refugees last week, mainly from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Miami-Dade district enrolled 31 from Puerto Rico, in addition to the 16 students from the Keys and two from Texas the district got after Irma and Harvey.

School leaders are preparing for what could be a much bigger influx.

The C130's four propeller engines scream as it lifts off from MacDill Air Force base in Tampa.

The plane is loaded with pallets of medical supplies bound for St. Croix, nine days after the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands took a direct hit from Hurricane Maria.

Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Humanitarian flights to the islands of St. Croix and Puerto Rico are continuing in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Crews based at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa on Friday loaded a cargo plane with supplies and headed for St. Croix, where patients from island hospitals were picked up and taken to a Columbia, South Carolina hospital

Jack Parrish / NOAA

An important storm tracking jet, known as a hurricane hunter, is out of commission in the midst of a busy hurricane season.

Updated at 10:10 p.m. ET

Millions of people in Puerto Rico need fuel, water, food and medicine. More than a week after Hurricane Maria devastated the island, major infrastructure is still down. Stores have trouble filling their shelves. Families are running low on the supplies they stockpiled before the storm, and across the island, many residents say they haven't seen any aid deliveries.

Meanwhile, at the port in San Juan, row after row of refrigerated shipping containers sit humming. They've been there for days, goods locked away inside.

The 927th Air Refueling Wing

Thousands of American military personnel are now assigned to the Hurricane Maria relief effort. Among them is the 45th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron based at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base.

Air Force Major Gavril Goodman was on one of the first humanitarian evacuation flights that landed in St. Croix five days after the Category 5 hurricane destroyed the island's power grid.

Puerto Ricans in Southwest Florida are having difficulty getting in contact with loved ones on the island since Hurricane Maria damaged power grids. 


When Hurricane Irma slammed into the U.S. Virgin Islands, Alvin Joseph was home in St. Thomas with his wife, his oldest granddaughter and four of his great-grandkids.

As the wind howled, Joseph and his wife went into the little boys’ bedroom to get a mattress and box spring for protection.

“The ceiling tiles had already disappeared out of the roof and we could see the sky,” says Joseph. “By the time we left out of the bedroom to go back in the living room—whoosh—roof was gone.”

Gas Prices Decreasing After Hurricanes Harvey And Irma

Sep 26, 2017

Gas prices are on a steady decline after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. 

Standing outside his church in Palmetto Bay on Sunday, Jesus Figueroa listened intently to information coming across his iPhone from Puerto Rico on Zello. The walkie-talkie app transmits messages on group channels when cell phone service is a challenge – and in Puerto Rico right now it’s an epic ordeal.

DeVaughn Putna Farrington / Facebook St. Croix Hurricane Maria Check In page

The U.S. Coast Guard opened the seaports in St. Croix, St. Thomas and Puerto Rico over the weekend, but only for daylight operations at many sites.

Getting supplies onto the islands and people off after Hurricane Maria devastated the region continues to be a challenge.

Tech Sgt Peter Dean / U.S. Air Force

The U.S. Air Force is helping to evacuate critically ill and injured patients from three Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. One of the first evacuation flights left from Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base Sunday with a crew of Air Force Reservists from the 45th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron.

Puerto Rico woke up Thursday morning to catastrophic damage and flooding after Hurricane Maria. The major storm roared across the Caribbean island on Wednesday, and the devastation – especially power outages – is island-wide.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

Puerto Rico is trying to start the process of recovering from Hurricane Maria — and it's doing so after the powerful storm blew homes apart, filled roads with water and tore at its infrastructure. Flash floods are persisting, and the island has no electricity service.

"We are without power, the whole island is without power," Jenniffer González-Colón, Puerto Rico's resident commissioner — its representative in Congress — told Morning Edition on Thursday. González-Colón spoke from Carolina, near San Juan.

Caleb Anduze / Facebook Hurricane Maria St. Croix Check In Group

Before Hurricane Maria made a direct hit on St. Croix, the island was serving as the hub for recovery efforts from earlier storms in other U.S. and British Virgin Islands.

A resident of St. Croix for more than three decades, Ditty Layton, survived Maria inside her home on the East End. Layton said, remarkably, she has not lost cell phone service and was reaching out to friends in Florida.

Most of Puerto Rico is without power Wednesday after Hurricane Maria slammed into the island as a Category 4 storm.

Now a Tampa attorney with roots on the island is collecting goods for survivors of the storm.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

One of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit Puerto Rico pummeled the island Wednesday, tearing off roofs and sending doors flying from hinges as officials warned Hurricane Maria would decimate the power company's crumbling infrastructure and force the government to rebuild dozens of communities.

Florida is still dusting itself off after the Hurricane Irma, but Governor Rick Scott is encouraging Floridians to stay prepared.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Forecasters say potentially catastrophic Hurricane Maria is heading toward the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

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