Hurricane Michael

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.

Governor Ron DeSantis says some additional relief is coming for communities hit by Hurricane Michael. After a meeting with President Donald Trump, DeSantis announced Thursday the Federal Emergency Management Agency will extend its period of reimbursement for debris cleanup costs.

Hurricane Debris Remains 'Huge, Huge Undertaking'

Jan 16, 2019
News Service Of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis directed the state Division of Emergency Management to speed money to Panhandle communities that are being swamped financially by “massive” amounts of debris from Hurricane Michael.

Emerging from a closed-door meeting Wednesday with Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long and local officials, DeSantis said that, in addition to upfronting disaster relief money to local governments, he will push the White House to increase federal reimbursements for debris cleanup.

Lawmakers Eye 'Long, Long Recovery' From Hurricane

Jan 7, 2019
Getty Images

Hurricane Michael, which pummeled 10 Panhandle counties and spurred evacuation orders for 375,000 Floridians in October, left nearly seven times the debris of Hurricane Irma, which barreled across 45 counties in 2017.

And in the three months since Michael came ashore at Mexico Beach, debris continues to be picked up, more than 102,000 people have registered for assistance and 16 counties have qualified for federal aid.

AP / Miami Herald

Heading into the third week of the partial government shutdown, President Donald Trump told reporters outside the White House that he can relate to the pain of federal workers who aren’t receiving paychecks.

“Many of those people that won’t be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100 percent with what I’m doing,” he said.

Bryan Cereijo / Miami Herald

It’s officially winter in South Florida. Though it’s mostly still warm outside, we’re graced with the occasional cold front, which calls for some special seasonal traditions.

WLRN asked listeners to tell us how they mark the season.

Final Flight Into Hurricane Michael Captured Rare Data On How Storms Intensify

Nov 29, 2018
Master Sgt. Jessica Kendziorek / U.S. Air Force

Shortly before noon on October 10, Lt. Col. Sean Cross and Maj. Dave Gentile, pilots with the U.S. Air Force Reserve, turned the nose of their WC-130J “Hurricane Hunter” toward the core of Hurricane Michael as it bore down on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

About 150 Florida Hurricane Victims Voted By Email. That’s Not Allowed.

Nov 12, 2018
News Herald/AP via Miami Herald

After Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle in October, the top elections official in Bay County allowed about 150 displaced voters to cast ballots by email, even though there is no provision that allows for it in state law.

Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Andersen defended that decision vigorously Monday, noting the mass devastation that rocked the coastal county one month ago.

Hurricane Michael has damaged and destroyed thousands of homes and apartments in the panhandle and what’s left isn’t enough to meet the demand. Now FEMA is offering up its “FEMA Trailers” to help address the need.

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