hurricane

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.

Sam Turken / WLRN

Linda Jones is running out of options.

A Transportation Security Administration employee working without pay during the government shutdown, Jones has burned through her savings, cut her food consumption and reduced how much she drives. Now, she questions whether she can keep her home.

“If this goes on, how do I pay my mortgage? How do I pay for the repairs? How do I pay the utilities? Am I just going to be in a house that doesn’t have lights or electricity?” said Jones, who works at Miami International Airport.

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.

Updated 11:01 p.m. ET

Hurricane Willa, which is a Category 3 storm, made landfall near Isla del Bosque, Sinaloa, in Western Mexico.

Willa is "extremely dangerous" and bringing "life-threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall" to Mexico's Pacific Coast, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Already sick with strep throat and asthma, Aleeah Racette got sicker when she cleaned out a soggy, moldy home after Hurricane Michael, so she sought help at the hospital where she began life. She was stunned by what she saw there.

Updated 8:47 p.m. ET

Hurricane Willa, an "extremely dangerous" storm heading to Mexico's Pacific coast, was downgraded from a Category 5 to a Category 4 by the National Hurricane Center on Monday.

The storm, with maximum sustained winds of nearly 150 mph, is about 100 miles west from Cabo Corrientes, a municipality in southwest Mexico. It is moving north at 8 mph, according to the NHC's latest advisory.

More than a week after Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida panhandle, cities and towns are facing the daunting task of trying to rebuild. The recovery is hampered by catastrophic damage not only to homes and businesses, but to vital infrastructure as well.

The small Gulf coast town of Port St. Joe, with a population of about 3,500 residents, is one of countless communities that was hit by the storm.

Getty images via Miami Herald

In the hyper data world of hurricane forecasting, where history is written in millibars and miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center’s 168-year record of Atlantic storms stands as an invaluable index to meteorologists, the insurance industry, government planning departments and, of course, weather geeks.

What’s less known: It gets tweaked a lot.

Hurricane Michael Insurance Claims Quickly Pile Up

Oct 19, 2018
Doug Engle / Associated Press

Within a week of Hurricane Michael barreling into Northwest Florida, nearly 70,000 insurance claims had been filed, with estimated insured losses of $680.7 million, according to data posted online by the state Office of Insurance Regulation.

Insurers reported 69,950 claims as of 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, almost exactly a week after Hurricane Michael made landfall in Mexico Beach with 155 mph maximum sustained winds.

The storm caused widespread damage in the Panhandle and the state’s Big Bend before continuing into Georgia.

Post-Michael Florida: Fear, Frustration And Life On The Edge For Survivors

Oct 19, 2018
Associated Press

Missing relatives and worries that looters are just outside the door. Dirty clothes. Hours-long lines for gasoline, insurance adjusters, food and water. No power, no air conditioning, no schools, no information and little real improvement in sight.

Daily life is a series of fears and frustrations, both large and small, for thousands of people living on the edge, more than a week after Hurricane Michael flattened thousands of square miles in the hurricane zone of the Florida Panhandle.

Brock Long was frustrated. Yet again, the FEMA administrator said, people in the path of a powerful hurricane had ignored evacuation orders.

Hurricane Michael had leveled the small Florida city of Mexico Beach and destroyed large parts of nearby Panama City. The death count was rising as search and rescue workers pulled bodies from the rubble.

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

It was a sunny South Florida morning but inside the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for Miami-Dade County, in Doral, all everybody talked about was rain, devastating winds and storms.

A group of 40 sixth-graders from West Miami Middle School dashed between desks, coordinating emergency efforts during a simulation of what would happen during a category 4 hurricane.

Updated at 8:23 p.m. ET

Florida residents still trying to piece together their lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael are missing one much needed tool: reliable cellphone service.

Amid reports of ongoing and widespread outages, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, is calling for an investigation of the problem. He is also calling for wireless carriers to waive October bills of Florida customers in areas hit by the hurricane.

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