Environment

Soldier next to vehicle.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU

Damage assessment workers are scouring Tallahassee neighborhoods for destruction. The amount of relief support Tallahassee will receive is based on these reports.

Damaged buildings like this one dot the coastline and west of Tallahassee.
Courtesy of Florida State University / WFSU News

Florida State University’s Panama City Campus is closed indefinitely. The school sustained heavy water and infrastructure damage due to Hurricane Michael. The university announced the closure Friday after school officials took a helicopter over Thursday to get their first look at the site following the storm.

Eastpoint residents enjoy a barbeque at the Big Top Supermarket after Hurricane Michael (10/12/2018)
Ryan Dailey / WFSU News

Coastal communities are trying to get back on their feet. In rural areas, neighbors are helping neighbors and businesses are pitching in. WFSU’s Ryan Dailey was able to get to Eastpoint in time for a community cookout, but he had to take backroads, Going through Highway 20 to 65.

A boat washed ashore following Hurricane Michael. 10/12/2018
Charley and Briney King

Despite mandatory evacuation orders along Florida’s Panhandle many people chose to stay behind and ride out the storm. Among them: Charley and Briney King in Panama City. They spoke on WFSU’s Perspectives show Friday.

Hurricane Michael Forces Nursing Home, Hospital Evacuations

8 hours ago

More than 30 health-care facilities had to be evacuated as Hurricane Michael damaged buildings and knocked out electricity in the Panhandle, state emergency management officials said Friday.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

At least 11 people have died from Hurricane Michael, which slammed into Florida's Panhandle with 155-mph winds on Wednesday. The storm hacked a trail of catastrophic destruction in Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia before finally heading back out over water.

Five deaths were reported in Virginia, in addition to four in Florida, one in Georgia and one in North Carolina.

Little communication is available from Bay County following Hurricane Michael. But as Regan McCarthy reports the message officials are pushing is that those who evacuated should stay put.

A tree knocked down a powerline during the storm
Robbie Gaffney

As electric utility crews work to get area residents back online, Rob McGarrah, general manager of Tallahassee’s electric utility is asking for patience and a little help.

Hurricane Michael has left more than 900,000 people without power in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama — about half of them in Florida, where the state’s Panhandle was hit the hardest. Among those who sheltered in place was Roy Ogles of Eastpoint, Fla., which sits on Apalachicola Bay.

Ogles talks to Here & Now‘s Robin Young about weathering the storm, and about the future of the community.

Updated at 4:55 a.m. ET

Tropical Storm Michael rampaged through South Carolina, North Carolina and finally southeastern Virginia on Thursday, before heading for the Atlantic Ocean.

Cali Beauty, on Apalachee Parkway in Tallahassee, is one of many that has boarded up its windows in advance of Hurricane Michael. (10/10/18)
LHatter / WFSU News

Calling the situation "unprecedented" the National Weather Service upgraded Hurricane Michael to a Category 4 early Wednesday morning. It has maximum sustained winds of 140 mph.

Potential trajectory of Hurricane Michael shows a potential Wednesday landfall as a Category 3 Hurricane.
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network / FPRN

Hurricane Michael is expected to strike the Panahandle and Big Bend region Wednesday as a Category 3 storm. Panama City, Apalachicola and Tallahassee could feel the brundt of the storm's damage. Evacuation notices, school closures and emergency shelter location is below. 

Courtesy National Hurricane Center

North Florida and the Big Bend is expected to start feeling the impact of Hurricane Michael today, with the brunt of the storm expected Wednesday. Michael is presently a Category 2 storm and is expected to strengthen into a Category 3 when it comes ashore somewhere in the region.

Tropical Storm Michael's trajectory as of 5 p.m. via the National Hurricane Center.
The National Hurricane Center / @NWSTallahassee

Governor Rick Scott has issued a state of emergency for 26 counties in the Big Bend and Florida Panhandle ahead of Tropical Storm Michael. The storm is expected to become a hurricane by the time it makes landfall Wednesday and could become a Category 2 storm, with winds exceeding 100 mph. 

Potential trajectory of Hurricane Michael shows a potential Wednesday landfall as a Category 3 Hurricane.
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network / FPRN

Update 5:13 p.m.:  The City of Tallahassee will open additional sandbag locations Monday, Oct. 8. Withrop Park and Messer Park are presently open. The additional sites are:

  • Tekesta Park, at Tekesta Drive and Deer Lake Road in Killearn Lakes (County)
  • Apalachee Regional Park (Landfill), 7550 Apalachee Parkway (County)
  • J. Lee Vause, 6024 Old Bainbridge Road (County)
  • At the intersection of Oak Ridge at Ranchero roads (County)

County locations will be staffed, and all residents will need to bring their own shovel. Sand, bags and ties will be available for public use. Residents are asked to take no more than 20 bags (25 at City sites) so as to allow others to prepare. Staff will monitor the sites to replenish as needed.

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Original Story: Floridians from the Emerald Coast to the Nature Coast are urged to review their hurricane plan and be prepared to act on it within a couple of days. Tropical Storm Michael formed over the western Caribbean Sunday morning, and the National Hurricane Center says it could become a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico by Wednesday.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

The Tallahassee Museum is encouraging visitors to meet its new guest animal. A giant anteater will be making the Museum its home while its Brevard Zoo enclosure is being enlarged.

Leon Trees / http://leontrees.org/explore/

The City of Tallahassee is taking inventory of its trees. Tree canopies cover 55% of Tallahassee. 

A bee pollinating a flower.
Jason Leung / Unsplash

A new law goes into effect October 1st which will create stricter penalties for stealing beehives, that’s good news for Florida farmers experiencing decreased profits and honey bee die-offs.

A container full of scallops
Carol Lyn Parrish / FWC Flickr

The last day to harvest bay scallops for the year in certain areas of the state is Monday.

The Texas-based company Cholla Petroleum is seeking permission from Florida's environmental agency to drill six exploratory wells in Calhoun County.
Cholla Petroleum

Of the nine oil and gas exploration permits pending with the state, six are in North Florida. And even though they’ve not been approved yet, environmentalists are wary.

Northwest Coast Red Tide Status Map (September 19, 2018)
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Fish kills and Red Tide blooms are being observed in more Florida counties, most recently in Northwest Florida.

A photo of a Bichon Frise, a long white-coated dog
Seth Reese / Unsplash

Their last rabies cases may have been two years ago, but Franklin and Gulf County health officials still want area residents to keep their distance from wild animals who may be carriers for the disease.

Tom Flanigan / WFSU

Downtown Tallahassee now has an advanced weather station that will keep operating when nearly everything else fails. The technology comes from the local WeatherSTEM company.

A coiled rattlesnake
Franklin County Sheriff's office Facebook

On the heels of a local law enforcement officer receiving two snake bites, Franklin County officials are alerting residents to keep their distance from the area’s reptiles.

Emerson George / Courtesy Ron DeSantis For Governor

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis is touting his environmental platform, which his campaign released this week.

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