Hurricane Irma

The seas are rising, frequently flooding the streets even when no storms are on the horizon. But that hasn't stopped foreign investors from shelling out big dollars for Miami real estate. Many are in it for the relatively short-term investment, then they'll try to sell before climate change takes its toll, observers of the local market say.

FEMA Chief Preaches Local Preparedness For Disasters

May 17, 2018

Local officials across Florida shouldn’t rely on the federal government to be on the ground everywhere a day or days after the next natural disaster, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday during the annual Governor’s Conference on Hurricanes.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

There are three hospitals in the Florida Keys — and one of them was critically wounded by Hurricane Irma. Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon has been operating as a field hospital since the storm. Now the hospital’s nonprofit owner is seeking some help from Middle Keys taxpayers to keep it going.

Peter Haden / WLRN

With hurricane season fast approaching, Florida Power and Light is testing its systems — and more than 3,000 employees — to make sure they can get the lights back on quickly after a storm.

All this week at the Riviera Beach command center, the company is drilling for a hypothetical storm with characteristics similar to Hurricane Wilma, which struck Florida in 2005.

The company said it’s applying lessons learned from Hurricane Irma.

Before Hurricane Maria hit last September, Puerto Rico was battered by the forces of another storm — a financial storm.

The island's own government borrowed billions of dollars to pay its bills, a practice that Puerto Rico's current governor, Ricardo Rosselló, now calls "a big Ponzi scheme."

Kate Stein / WLRN

Hurricane Irma uprooted homes and lives in the Florida Keys when it tore through the state last September. The storm also wreaked less visible havoc in many of Florida's low-income communities, where people without cars or living paycheck-to-paycheck struggled to buy food and supplies, and experienced extended power outages.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

At 11 a.m. Tuesday, a couple dozen people gathered in a place you’d normally want to spend as little time as possible.

Locals call it the Triangle — a piece of median where U.S. 1 connects with Key West.

They were celebrating the return of the iconic “Welcome” sign that was dislodged by Hurricane Irma — then stolen in the days after the storm.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Several South Florida nonprofits are launching five meetings to ensure equality in hurricane recovery efforts, continuing work that began after Hurricane Irma.

National Hurricane Center / NOAA

The forecasters got Hurricane Irma mostly right. At least compared to the predictions of past storms. That’s one of the conclusions from a National Hurricane Center report on the big storm that hit Florida last September.

The names of four deadly hurricanes that slammed parts of the United States, Central America and the Caribbean last year are being retired.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday that hurricane names Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate will be replaced with Harold, Idalia, Margot and Nigel. The new names will make their debut during the 2023 hurricane season.

Jack Fishman

Sofas, refrigerators, pipes and lobster traps all wound up littering the Keys reef and backcountry flats after Hurricane Irma blew through in September.

Now the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary wants to deploy volunteer divers to remove the debris.

Associated Press

Former President Bill Clinton has picked the University of Miami to launch a new Global Initiative Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery in the Caribbean, which will focus on developing solutions that address hurricane recovery needs in the region. 

The Clinton Foundation's intention is to secure immediate and long-term aid to Caribbean islands that were devastated by catastrophic Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year.  

County officials in the Florida Keys are looking to get federal money to reimburse them for expenses related to Hurricane Irma. Monroe County officials traveled to Washington DC last week to meet with FEMA officials.

The county has submitted about $16 million in expenses for reimbursement.

So far, FEMA has approved about $3.9 million. Now the county is waiting for the state's Department of Emergency Management to sign off.

Frustration is growing among Florida citrus farmers awaiting the distribution of $2.36 billion in federal disaster-relief money for agriculture losses sustained in Hurricane Irma.

Pages