hurricanes

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.

Courtesy / Telemundo

In the days leading up to Hurricane Michael’s landfall, Gov. Rick Scott did what any Florida governor would do: warn people. After the storm passed, Scott shifted from warnings to gravitas.

But his appearances were more significant than previous storm responses (Michael is the fourth hurricane Scott has had to respond to in his eight years as governor). 

With elections just under three weeks away in Florida, candidates – especially those for governor and U.S. Senate – know that voters could cast their ballots based on how candidates responded to the storm.

Pedro Portal pportal@miamiherald.com

Hurricane Michael approached Florida with ferocious speed this week, hitting the Panhandle as a Category 4 hurricane and leaving behind a trail of catastrophic damage. The storm went from a depression to a serious storm in less than a week.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Michael was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the continental U.S. since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Have you heard the theory that low air pressure during a hurricane can cause a surge in births?

Supposedly a steep drop in barometric pressure makes it easier for a baby to pop out.

As Hurricane Florence ripped through the Carolinas, we wondered if that was really true.

"It's one of those old wives' tales," said Dr. Hal Lawrence, executive vice president and CEO of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Farmers across the southeastern part of North Carolina are just starting to report details about the hit they've taken from Hurricane Florence. The rain is over, but rivers still are rising, and the full picture of damage to farms and the surrounding environment probably won't be known for weeks.

Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET

In the days leading up to the arrival of Hurricane Florence, North Carolina's governor offered a series of dire warnings.

"Even if you've ridden out storms before, this one is different," Gov. Roy Cooper said.

As Hurricane Florence made landfall, it appeared many North Carolinians had listened.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

More than 100 people were waiting to be rescued from homes and vehicles Friday morning in New Bern, N.C., after Hurricane Florence brought severe flooding to the area. Officials say more than 100 people have already been rescued in the area overnight.

Six swift water rescue teams have been working since Thursday afternoon to evacuate individuals and families, in some cases, from the roofs of their homes, the New Bern Public Information Officer Colleen Roberts said Friday afternoon.

As Hurricane Florence makes landfall in the Carolinas, in Washington the focus is how the Trump administration will respond to the storm's aftermath, and the inevitable property damage, power outages and potential loss of life.

The federal response is coordinated by FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The agency's reputation suffered last year following its lagging response to Hurricane Maria. And while President Trump and FEMA officials insist they're ready this time, there have already been missteps that have some believing the agency's confidence may be misplaced.

Updated at 5:20 a.m. ET Saturday

Tropical Storm Florence is still a slow-moving giant that poses danger to people in North and South Carolina, as its storm surge and intense rains bring high floodwaters to towns both on the coast and inland.

The storm has been linked to at least five deaths, a toll that is expected to climb.

Alejandra Martinez

As Hurricane Florence approached North and South Carolina Thursday, Cyndee O’Quinn from the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network joined Sundial to give us the latest details on the storm.

Updated at 6:40 a.m. ET on Friday

Hurricane Florence was making landfall on the North Carolina coast, bringing with it life-threatening storm surge, heavy rain and sustained winds of 90 miles per hour. Although downgraded to a Category 1 storm, the hurricane has grown larger and slowed its march inland — factors likely to contribute to potentially catastrophic flooding.

Many seaports and airports along the southeastern U.S. coastline have been shut down, more than 1,000 flights have been canceled, and some highways and bridges in low-lying coastal areas could close soon, as Hurricane Florence gets closer to making landfall.

Authorities in coastal areas that lie in the path of the massive storm are urging residents one last time to evacuate.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Former President Bill Clinton was in Miami Tuesday for a meeting on improving disaster response and resiliency in the Caribbean.

The event, organized by the Clinton Global Initiative and hosted by the University of Miami, aimed in part to introduce people working on hurricane recovery projects to potential funders. Those projects are helping Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Antigua & Barbuda and Dominica build back stronger after last year’s devastating hurricane season.

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