Hurricane Maria

UCF Establishes Research Hub For Puerto Rico

7 hours ago

As Puerto Rico recovers from Hurricane Maria and evacuees from the island settle in Central Florida, the University of Central Florida has created a Puerto Rico Research Hub designed to identify solutions to challenges and issues affecting the community.

It's far from over in the Carolinas, and President Trump is on the way.

As the remnants of Hurricane Florence roll north along the Appalachian Trail, the floodwaters deepen and the death toll rises. The destruction will remain for longer than anyone knows.

And for the victims, the first days of desperation are giving way to despair.

That is why the president is fitting in a visit to the stricken region on Wednesday.

Alejandra Martinez

Ivan Nieves and David Torres, a couple from Puerto Rico, used to own a restaurant, hair salon and a boutique in San Juan. But one year ago, Hurricane Maria seriously damaged the business, leaving them unable to work. 

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET

President Trump denied the death toll of nearly 3,000 from hurricanes Maria and Irma, which swept across Puerto Rico a year ago, in a series of tweets Thursday morning.

"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico," he tweeted. "When I left the island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths."

Trump then blamed Democrats for the figures, "to make me look as bad as possible."

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

During an Oval Office briefing on preparations for Hurricane Florence, a reporter asked President Trump if there were lessons to be learned from the widely criticized FEMA response to Hurricane Maria last year in Puerto Rico. Trump's response? In short: Nothing to see here.

When Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in September 2017, chef José Andrés and the groups he founded, World Central Kitchen and Chefs for Puerto Rico, sprung into action.

"We began serving hospitals, because the doctors and the nurses — nobody was feeding them," Andrés says of the initial effort.

But then calls started pouring in from places that were hours away from San Juan. Andrés says the message was clear: "The island is hungry. With one restaurant alone, we have not enough."

It's not easy packing your bags and saying goodbye to your family after a Category 5 hurricane has wiped out what you call home, leaving so many places — tied so closely with childhood memories and routine — bare and unusable.

Updated at 9:25 p.m. ET

Puerto Rico's governor updated the island's official death toll for victims of Hurricane Maria on Tuesday, hours after independent researchers from George Washington University released a study estimating the hurricane caused 2,975 deaths in the six months following the storm.

Puerto Rico's sole provider of electricity for 1.5 million residents says power has been returned to all homes that lost electricity from Hurricane Maria last September.

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority identified a family near the mountainous, rural barrios of Real and Anón, in Ponce, a city and municipality in the island's south, as their final customers to receive returned power. PREPA tweeted their image.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it didn't handle housing vouchers for displaced residents of Puerto Rico any differently from those of displaced Texas and Florida residents after last year's hurricanes.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Former President Bill Clinton was in Miami Tuesday for a meeting on improving disaster response and resiliency in the Caribbean.

The event, organized by the Clinton Global Initiative and hosted by the University of Miami, aimed in part to introduce people working on hurricane recovery projects to potential funders. Those projects are helping Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Antigua & Barbuda and Dominica build back stronger after last year’s devastating hurricane season.

Florida International University ABCD Study

Daniel Oates is the Miami Beach Police Chief. He has been following an ongoing story about a Miami Beach resident who was trying to burn down his condo unit. The resident claimed he wanted to kill all the Jews in the building.

The leadership of Puerto Rico's troubled electric utility — PREPA — crumbled on Thursday, as a majority of its board of directors, including its newly named CEO, resigned rather than submit to demands by the island's governor that the new CEO's salary be reduced.

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