Hurricane Irma

Tom Krall lives on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands on the west end of the island, high on a ridge. That's where he was in September when Hurricane Irma roared through.

"We had the full blast," Krall says. "Twenty of the 30 houses in my neighborhood lost their roofs or worse."

The National Hurricane Center says Irma had sustained winds of 185 mph when it hit the Virgin Islands with gusts of 200 mph or higher. They were the most powerful winds ever recorded in that part of the Caribbean.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN News

More students locally and across Florida are passing state exams.

Statewide, students’ pass rates on the annual English and Math tests increased slightly from last year. But South Florida’s large school districts made bigger gains of 2 or 3 percent.

Irma Insurance Losses Close To $10 Billion

Jun 14, 2018
Alex Harris

Insurance loss estimates from Hurricane Irma have hit $9.7 billion, up by more than $1 billion since April, according to the latest numbers posted by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

Insurers also advised the state agency that the number of claims had reached 987,767 from the massive and deadly September storm. The was up more than 54,000 from when numbers were previously updated in April.

Officials said they expected claims to be made for more than a year after the storm, as property owners are able to get complete assessments of the damages.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Development in the Florida Keys has been limited for decades by hurricane evacuation; the state requires that everyone who lives there be able to get out within 24 hours. But that may change under a new program approved Wednesday by Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

People in the Florida Keys are still picking up property that got blown around by Hurricane Irma - and the Monroe County sheriff’s office is looking to return one special item that just turned up.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN News

The Avenues neighborhood on Big Pine Key was one of the cheapest places to buy or rent in the Keys for a reason: it has a lot of older ground-level or mobile homes.

When Hurricane Irma crossed the Lower Keys as a Category 4 last September, the Avenues was clobbered.


Al Diaz / Miami Herald

The state is preparing a 1,300-unit rescue to the affordable housing crisis that has gripped the Florida Keys but, to make it happen, it has had to bend some rules that planners say may only make the problem worse.

The governor and Cabinet are expected to hear a report Wednesday on a plan by the governor's Department of Economic Opportunity to allow the development of multi-family housing units for working people throughout the Keys.

Hurricane Irma moved a lot of things around underwater off the Florida coast. And the storm has revealed new evidence of an old shipwreck off the Florida Keys.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Sun Sentinel reporter Megan O’Matz recently reported on new public information that the Broward Sheriff's office delayed the entrance of fire department medics into Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school during the February Parkland shooting.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

The Florida Keys took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma last September. But as local governments start putting together their budgets for the next fiscal year, they recently got some good news: the property values on the island chain have increased.

Daniel Rivero / WLRN News

Javier Vizoso knew that he was going to move to Miami at some point. But the one-two punch of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on the island of Puerto Rico last September accelerated his decision.

Days away from the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season and days after subtropical storm Alberto made landfall in Florida, Everglades City was still trying to piece itself back together, more than eight months after Hurricane Irma.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The lull lasted more than a decade. A major storm hadn’t made landfall in South Florida since the 2004-2005 double-hitter of Hurricanes Wilma and Katrina.

That record ended this past September when Hurricane Irma rocked the region and much of the Caribbean.

The Category 5 storm first made landfall in Barbuda with maximum winds of nearly 180 mph. The hurricane then ripped through St. Martin, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas and Cuba.

hurricane supplies
C.M. GUERRERO / Miami Herald

In the days after Hurricane Irma swept through South Florida last September, knocking out power across the region, 14 patients at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills died from sweltering conditions. Twelve of those deaths were ruled homicides by the state. 

On Thursday morning, one day before the official start of a new hurricane season, South Florida seniors spoke to local emergency management officials and lawmakers about how to better prepare.

Jonathan Schilling / Creative Commons

In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the federal government signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Carnival Corporation to help house federal aid workers and first responders on the company's Fascination cruise ship in the United States Virgin Islands.

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