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Florida After Hurricane Irma - Part 1

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Keys residents make their way through Key West to survey the damage after the storm had passed Sept. 10.

Irma was an epic storm. It was stronger and bigger than almost all hurricanes on record and lasted longer than any storm on record. From the Lower Florida Keys to St. Augustine, the Gulf Coast across to I-95, it triggered the largest evacuation in Florida and left large swaths of the state without power for days.

 

The refrain you hear a lot is “it could have been worse.” So what if next time it is? Can Florida be effectively evacuated? What’s it like to wait out a storm in a shelter? And how are the state’s most vulnerable communities --the elderly and the poor -- left to deal with the preparations and aftermath of hurricanes?

In After Hurricane Irma - Part 1, we hear how one reporter experienced the storm and its aftermath just miles from where the eye first came ashore. We also cover how the storm may change regulations around backup power for nursing homes, whether Florida is getting too big to effectively evacuate, why more charter schools aren't designated storm shelters, the storm's impact on agriculture and how Lake Okeechobee is handling much of Irma's rains, among other stories.

In a journalism career covering news from high global finance to neighborhood infrastructure, Tom Hudson is the Vice President of News and Special Correspondent for WLRN.  He hosts and produces the Sunshine Economy and anchors the Florida Roundup in addition to leading the organization's news engagement strategy.