South Florida neighborhoods

COURTESY OF XAVIER CORTADA

A newly created 'Underwater Homeowners Association' held its first meeting in The Village of Pinecrest Wednesday. The group is made up of residents who want to tackle the issue of sea level rise as a community. It is also the finishing touch on a piece created by environmental artist Xavier Cortada.

“Today is the day where I conceptually sign the painting,” Cortada said.

Kate Stein / WLRN

On a hot day in September, Charlene Jones celebrated her 61st birthday by herself.

The former nursing-home cook made herself a birthday dinner of turkey and dressing, macaroni and cheese, string beans and butter pound cake. She ate it alone, in a dim apartment in an affordable housing complex in Miami’s West Little River neighborhood.

“I wanted to be home,” Jones said. “I don’t really like being out.”

Florida International University

Sea-level rise is beginning to impact everyday life for some neighborhoods in South Florida: roads flood, insurance prices rise, and cities and counties ask voters to help pay for adaptation projects. There may soon be impacts to the Internet.

But the water's rising only millimeters at a time. And the majority of people here don't experience serious flooding.

Andrew Quintana / WLRN

A town hall in Wynwood on Monday night involved an issue that has flooded the minds and neighborhoods of many South Florida residents—rising sea waters.

The event, hosted by WLRN, was open to the public and featured artists, scientists, and policymakers who spoke about the threat of sea level rise in South Florida and what communities can do in response to it. It was a conversation attendees said they were eager to have.

But one area that was not up for debate was the science.

Katie Lepri / WLRN News

Many parts of South Florida appear to have escaped the worst impacts of King Tide flooding this week — at least compared with tidal flooding the previous two Octobers.

King tides in October 2017 came on the heels of record-setting summer rains and Hurricane Irma. In October 2016, a rare “super moon” intensified the highest of the high tides, which can cause water to bubble up through storm drains and into streets, corroding cars and impeding traffic.

 

Peter Andrew Bosch / Miami Herald

Miami-Dade commissioners last week approved a budget that many community groups say is a good step for making the county more resilient against climate change and other quality-of-life challenges.

The Miami Climate Alliance is an umbrella organization of more than 50 non-profits and community groups. Members focus on a range of issues including hurricane preparedness, sea-level rise and access to transportation.

Windsor Johnson / NPR

Climate change and equity will be in the spotlight Saturday evening at a rally in Miami's Bayfront Park.

Hector Gabino / El Nuevo Herald

President Trump and Florida Gov. Rick Scott have been reluctant to acknowledge the link between climate change and some of Florida's current environmental challenges, like King Tide flooding, stronger hurricanes and rising temperatures.

Kate Stein / WLRN

A center to help people in low-income neighborhoods prepare for and recover from hurricanes launched in north Miami-Dade on Saturday. 

Organizers say the "community emergency operations center" builds off of Hurricane Irma last year, when community groups from across Florida mobilized to collect donations, host cookouts and provide legal support for more than 23,000 people.

Kate Stein / WLRN

When it comes to sea-level rise, planners in South Florida typically use the benchmark of two feet in the next 40 years, but there’s a chance it could be less -- or more -- than that.

Riane Roldan / WLRN

There's a buzzword among people who work on quality-of-life issues in South Florida: "Resilience."

It’s a concept we often apply to a person, someone who's able to cope with difficult circumstances. But more and more, the word is being used in the context of how communities respond to issues like traffic, hurricanes, affordable housing and rising seas.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Rollin Virgile walks through his Little Haiti store amid dozens of weddings dresses, white floral crowns, men’s tuxedo vests and baptism gowns. He greets customers in Creole: "Bonswa, koman nou ye?" (Good afternoon, how are you all?) 

Linda Robertson

There are rescue dogs, saved from abusive owners and placed in loving homes. Then there is Payo. He is a rescue rooster. He was doomed to die in a Santería ceremony.

Just as his neck was to be slit, Payo’s adoptive family swooped in. They persuaded the priest to sacrifice another animal. They brought Payo home and set him free in the back yard.

And this is where the sweet story of the pet rooster ends. Because sleep-deprived neighbors don’t call the big white bird with the blood red eyes by his nickname. They call him El terrorista. The terrorist.

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.

Pages