Hurricane Irma

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.

Michael Seeley / Courtesy

Flanked by sea turtle nests, the vandalized Key West "ghost ship" that mysteriously washed ashore in Melbourne after Hurricane Irma will likely remain beached until at least November.

Because endangered turtles recently laid eggs there, officials in Brevard, on Florida's Atlantic coast, say they'll leave the boat alone for now.

Cuki, the beached 45-foot sailboat won't be removed until nesting season ends on Oct. 31 — at the earliest.

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

Monroe County has an offer for those who want to return home right away after a hurricane: Take a 32-hour training course and get a special pass that will get you back in the first days after a storm, before the general public.

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."

But it didn't fall into financial ruin all on its own: Wall Street kept pushing the Puerto Rican government's loans even as the island teetered on default, with a zeal that bank insiders are now describing with words like "unethical" and "immoral."

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.

Pages