Hurricane Michael

As another hurricane season begins, emergency managers and other officials throughout the Southeast and along the Gulf Coast are applying lessons they learned last year during Hurricane Michael. Those lessons include how they conduct evacuations.

An estimated 72 million pounds of timber fell during Hurricane Michael. Much of that wood has landed on fire breaks, exacerbating wildfire conditions.  

Hurricane Impact On Fish Spurs Emergency Order

Jun 6, 2019

Hurricane Michael’s impact on shoal bass in the Chipola River and its tributaries drew a state emergency order Wednesday against harvesting the freshwater fish. 

Long-Sought Disaster Aid Package Passes House

Jun 4, 2019

A federal disaster-relief package, long sought by Florida officials and Panhandle residents recovering from the ravages of Hurricane Michael, received approval Monday from the U.S. House after three earlier attempts were blocked. 

Florida Disaster Relief Blocked Again In Congress

May 28, 2019

A second congressional Republican, arguing for a vote by the full House, blocked an attempt Tuesday to pass long-stalled federal disaster relief funding that would assist Florida’s hurricane-ravaged Panhandle.

The latest move came after a group of Panhandle residents targeted --- through a full-page ad in the Austin American-Statesman newspaper --- a Texas Republican who initially blocked the bill on Friday.

Evan Vucci / Associated Press

President Donald Trump on Wednesday vowed Tyndall Air Force Base will be rebuilt after sustaining massive damage in Hurricane Michael, and he will approve the state’s request to boost federal funding for storm recovery in Northwest Florida.

Trump, during a campaign rally in Panama City Beach, said the federal reimbursement levels for hurricane recovery in the region will be boosted from 75 percent to 90 percent “in many circumstances.”

President Trump will hold his first 2020 Florida political rally since the 2018 elections on Wednesday, and he's doing it in the Panhandle, the heart of his base in the state.

But the region is facing setbacks because of a federal funding shortfall after Hurricane Michael last fall that threatens to dampen enthusiasm.

NASA

Scientists have long been tracking the melting of polar ice caps. Many have attributed their melting across the globe to rising CO2 emissions warming the planet's waters. Dr. Jennifer Francis is a senior researcher with the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts. She told WLRN's Sundial, "Over the last three or four decades, the amount of arctic sea ice [in the world] has been cut in half." 

Hurricane Michael has been upgraded to a Category Five storm and is one of the strongest to strike the United States. 

Doug Engle / Associated Press

The storm names Florence and Michael have officially been retired by the World Meteorological Organization’s Region IV Hurricane Committee, which includes the NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Florence hit Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on September 14, 2018. The storm claimed 51 lives and caused severe flooding in much of the Carolinas and Virginia. It is considered one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes to ever hit the Carolinas.

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

When Hurricane Michael struck Mexico Beach on October 10, 2018, it made history as the strongest storm to hit the mainland United States since Hurricane Camille in 1969.

Just shy of Category Five strength, the storm cut a path of destruction through ten North Florida counties, killing at least 47 people before heading into Georgia. Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation recently reported that the insured losses from the storm have topped $5.8 billion.

Florida lawmakers will gather March 5 in the House chamber to hear Gov. Ron DeSantis give his first State of the State address, the traditional start of the 60-day legislative session.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is floating the possibility of using money from a settlement over the 2010 BP Oil Spill as leverage to help North Florida recover from one of the strongest Hurricanes in a generation. The discussion comes as the region  faces a recovery that could take a decade or more.

New Crops Proposed After Michael Devastation

Feb 4, 2019
DON RYAN, FILE AP PHOTO

Hemp and hops are being promoted among alternatives for crops wiped out by Hurricane Michael in the eastern Panhandle.

Glen Aiken, director of the University of Florida’s North Florida Research and Education Center, said Monday the need for alternatives has grown as farmers in an eight-county region suffered most of the estimated $1.5 billion hit to the state’s agriculture industry in the October storm.

Cleanup and recovery from Hurricane Michael is slow, costly and ongoing. As donations to the area stall and media coverage fades, some residents of the Forgotten Coast fear the area is living up to its name.

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