Hurricane Irma

Gov. Rick Scott speaking during the 32nd Annual Governor’s Hurricane Conference.
Governor Rick Scott's twitter

While Hurricane Season is two weeks ago, Florida is already starting to see tropical depressions and bands of heavy rain across the state. And, looking back at the 2017 season, officials want to make sure not only are stakeholders prepared this year, but Florida’s citizens as well.

A home hit by a large tree during hurricane hermine
Regan McCarthy WFSU News

Leon County is a pilot community for a new Hurricane Strong Program that’s a partnership between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. County spokesman Mathieu Cavell says the program is focused on community resilience.

Florida Budget Funds Second Harvest Upgrades

Mar 21, 2018
Andrew Quintana / WFSU

Florida’s new budget provides funding for a North Florida food distribution center that is looking to make some upgrades. 

Florida's Cabinet
Nick Evans

Wednesday marked the Florida Cabinet’s final meeting for this year’s legislative session. After, Governor Rick Scott and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam shared their thoughts on current issues the state will have to deal with this session and beyond.

Monroe County Board of County Commissioners via facebook

The Florida House is rolling out dozens of recommendations on the state’s hurricane response efforts. Equipping emergency shelters and preparing healthcare facilities top the list.

Florida Guardian ad Litem

Unless Florida lawmakers act, an organization created to aid in the efforts of Florida’s Guardian ad Litem program is set to expire later this year.

https://twitter.com/adamputnam
Adam Putnam via flickr / Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Florida’s projected orange crop is continuing to dwindle. The forecasted yield is down 80% from the record high of 244 million boxes 20 years ago. 

Citrus greening (Huanglongbing) is reeking havoc on Florida's citrus industry.
A. Barra via Wikimedia commons

A cold snap is bringing freezing temperatures to Florida this weekend. But one citrus scientist says the state’s embattled growers shouldn’t see much damage. 

Monroe County Board of County Commissioners via facebook

The 2017 Hurricane season is officially over. But lawmakers are still debating how to pick up the pieces.

Stuart Rankin via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/24354425@N03/14576820330/

55,000 agriculture-related jobs are in danger in the wake of Hurricane Irma, according to a recent University of Florida analysis. Economist and study author Alan Hodges says the storms’ impacts to Florida’s growers are unprecedented. Because the state's second largest industry depends on so many other suppliers and distributors, and fuels so many local economies, Hodges says the ripple effects are not limited to growers alone. 

iStockphoto

Thursday marked the end of Hurricane Season, and Governor Rick Scott is noting lessons to apply next year.

City of Jacksonville via facebook

The impacts of hurricanes on people are well documented, and can scar communities for years. But the ecological effects of storms aren’t as obvious. 

City of Tallahassee

While a lot of the focus has been on Puerto Rico, another U.S. territory was affected too by Hurricane Maria. And, the city of Tallahassee is sending crews to help the U.S. Virgin Islands.

https://twitter.com/adamputnam
Adam Putnam via flickr / Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Automation. Development. Citrus Greening. Florida’s agriculture industry is hurting, and Hurricane Irma is only the most recent blow. During this year's legislative session, lawmakers will be considering how to support the industry, which is second only to tourism.

Monroe County Board of County Commissioners via facebook

For years Floridians have been facing a growing need for affordable housing. This year’s hurricanes are making the situation worse.

Hurricane Maria approaching Puerto Rico.
NOAA

Florida Senate lawmakers are wary of Governor Rick Scott spending emergency dollars in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  A Puerto Rican state senator is urging lawmakers to prepare for evacuees.

Florida Channel

Due to Hurricane Irma, Florida lawmakers are warning their constituents that they may not have a lot of money this year for local projects. It comes as legislators across the state hold legislative delegation meetings where the public, local governments, and organizations outline their funding requests.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection / https://www.flsenate.gov/PublishedContent/Committees/2016-2018/AEN/MeetingRecords/MeetingPacket_3946.pdf

Florida’s beaches are in constant need of restoration, to truck in sand that the sea washes away. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, miles of critically eroded beaches are in even more danger. Now a powerful lawmaker is once again trying to get funding to replenish the shorelines.

MGN Online

Governor Rick Scott wants to find better ways for the public to evacuate, in case of an emergency. He’s ordering an evaluation of the state’s roadways.

Nick Evans

Hurricane Irma is throwing a wrench in Florida’s budget for the coming year.  Lawmakers were already facing a daunting challenge crafting a balanced budget.

Adam Putnam via flickr / Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is predicting this year’s Florida citrus crop will be the smallest since the 1940s. The state is slated to produce 54 million boxes, down from nearly 300 million in the 2000s.

Governor Scott surveying damage in the Keys.
Governor's Press Office

Florida Governor Rick Scott and elected officials in the Keys have one message: we’re open for business.  But the island chain is still recovering from Hurricane Irma.

Jonathan Kos-Read via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathankosread/

One Florida lawmaker believes workers who evacuate because of an emergency don’t deserve to lose their jobs. A new bill would give the state’s employees more protections.

U.S. Army / https://www.army.mil

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio wants the military to take charge of Puerto Rico’s hurricane response. He says the storm’s effects are hamstringing the island’s supply chain.

Fallout from Hurricane Irma is reaching the foundation of Florida’s government as the powerful Constitution Revision Commission considers extending key deadlines.

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