Hurricane Irma

DAVID SANTIAGO / MIAMI HERALD

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday announced that Rebuild Florida will launch a workforce housing construction program statewide with $140 million. The Florida Keys will receive $35 million.

Also, state administrators said Monroe County by next week will receive $21 million in FEMA reimbursement for debris removal for Hurricane Irma cleanup. Irma swept through the Keys in September 2017. Debris removal cost the county $30 million.

DeSantis visited Marathon on Thursday to make the announcements. It was his second visit to the Keys in two months.

Jenny Staletovich

A pair of Miami architects who infuriated neighbors and drew the scrutiny of county environmental regulators when they chopped down mangroves at their waterfront property in the wake of Hurricane Irma have sold the lot for more than double what they paid.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Hurricane Irma was at Category 4 strength when it crossed the Florida Keys in September of 2017. And the Keys are still in the rebuilding process, even as a new hurricane season starts.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Weather officials have been able to reduce forecasting errors for a hurricane's track, including its "cone of uncertainty," in the last 20 years. But more research is needed to better predict how intense a storm will be.

That's according to National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham, who spoke on a panel Thursday at the Broward County Emergency Operations Center in Plantation. 

Courtesy Purpose in Paradise

The U.S. Virgin Islands are finally rebounding after suffering two major hurricanes back-to-back. One tourism innovation may have played a part in that.

Cammy Clark / Monroe County

A $7.9 million project to upgrade a county park on Stock Island was a couple weeks out from completion when Hurricane Irma tore across the Lower Keys in September 2017.

The damage caused by the hurricane extended that work for almost a year, but the project was completed and Monroe County held a ribbon-cutting last August.

Now the Monroe County clerk has issued an audit report on the project. Among the conclusions:

Madeline Fox / WLRN

For residents of one West Palm Beach neighborhood, some ground-shuddering repetitive banging is a small price to pay for power that stays on even during high winds.

The residents of Bradley Court are in the midst of a Florida Power and Light project to bring their power lines underground, where tree-toppling gusts have a slimmer chance of shutting off the lights.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Four Keys cities and Monroe County have sent FEMA bills for more than $91 million from Hurricane Irma. A year and a half after the storm, they have received less than 12 percent of the money.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

After Hurricane Irma slammed the Florida Keys in September of 2017, lots of volunteers came to help with clean up. Almost a year and a half later, there's still work to do repairing homes, and volunteers who want to help.

The challenge has been finding them a place to stay.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

In the Florida Keys, the challenges of finding an affordable place to live were made much worse after Hurricane Irma destroyed or severely damaged thousands of homes in September 2017.

A number of nonprofits and faith groups came in to help after the storm. One church in Marathon was already there — and is taking a big step in providing housing for people in the Keys who lost their homes.

Post-Irma Rebuilding Program Extends Its Deadline

Dec 26, 2018
CARL JUSTE / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

The federally funded program offered through the state to help Hurricane Irma victims rebuild has extended its deadline.

Rebuild Florida, run by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, is now giving homeowners until March 29 to register.

In its first phase, $50 million is reserved for Monroe County homeowners to rebuild, repair or elevate their homes due to damage or destruction caused by Irma, which struck Sept. 10, 2017.

Monroe County

When Hurricane Irma slammed across the Lower Keys as a Category 4 storm last year, it hammered what passes for affordable housing — mobile homes and older structures that weren't elevated.

For people who are left with a piece of land but not a lot of money to rebuild, Monroe County plans to commission four tiny homes as a pilot project.

Wood Environment

It's been well over a year since Hurricane Irma struck, but in the Florida Keys some canals are still being added to the list for cleanup.

Citrus Growers Get A Dose Of Good News

Oct 12, 2018

A year after Hurricane Irma ravaged Florida’s citrus industry, growers are on pace to slightly surpass their production from two years ago.

AH of Monroe County

In the 1980s, Key West was hit especially hard by AIDS. The group AIDS Help was created then to provide hospice care and treatment for people who had the disease.  Over the years, it changed its name to AH-Monroe and expanded its mission to address crises from affordable housing to the impacts of Hurricane Irma.

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