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Hurricane Maria heading toward Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico as Category 5

Weather / Weather News /

MIAMI -- Hurricane Maria continued on its track toward the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Tuesday morning, hours after leaving behind a scene of devastation in Dominica where it ripped off rooftops on the small Caribbean island overnight.

The Category 5 storm is expected to continue fluctuating in strength as it moves over the northeast ...Read more

As flooding rises, federal insurance must adjust

Weather / Weather News /

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Monday, Sept. 18:

Put the national flood insurance program and climate change denial together, and you have a perfect storm.

The past several weeks of hurricanes have reminded us that doing nothing to halt the rising and warming of our oceans is a terrible idea.

But there is ...Read more

Don't encourage danger

Weather / Weather News /

Question: What do you call a congressman who votes against emergency aid for hurricane victims?

Answer: A "piece of ... ."

Sure, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce later apologized for that particular characterization of the libertarian-leaning Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., who was one of just three members of the House of Representatives ...Read more

Hurricane Maria grows into Category 5 storm, makes landfall in storm-battered Caribbean

Weather / Weather News /

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Hurricane Maria, a dangerous Category 5 storm, reached the island of Dominica in the eastern Caribbean on Monday night with sustained winds of 160 mph, forecasters said.

(Etehad reported from Los Angeles and Molly Hennessy-Fiske reported from San Juan.)

(c)2017 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www....Read more

Fla. nursing home never called for ambulances, backup housing as patients died

Weather / Weather News /

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills had an ambulance service and another nursing home at the ready to help in the event of a hurricane emergency. But it never reached out to either, even as its frail residents began to die in the escalating heat after Hurricane Irma knocked out the facility's power.

The ...Read more

They booked a 5-day pleasure cruise, but wound up on a 2-week hurricane relief mission

Weather / Weather News /

ABOARD THE MAJESTY OF THE SEAS -- Gay and Robert Mahoney boarded Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas in Port Canaveral, Fla., Sept. 4 expecting a simple five-day cruise.

Instead, they spent 16 days at sea dodging Hurricane Irma on a ship that scrapped its itinerary of glitz, gambling and booze to run rescue and evacuation missions throughout ...Read more

Hurricane Maria strengthens to Category 3 storm carving course across northern Caribbean

Weather / Weather News /

MIAMI -- Hurricane Maria strengthened to a major Category 3 hurricane Monday morning, carving a path across the northern Caribbean that could see some islands battered by a second major storm in about a week's time.

In their 11 a.m. EDT advisory, National Hurricane Center forecasters said sustained winds have climbed to 120 mph, prompting ...Read more

After Hurricane Harvey, a family throws away their past, piece by moldy piece

Weather / Weather News /

PORT ARTHUR, Texas -- The past piled up on the side of the road, stuffed into black trash bags stacked on top of soggy furniture and moldy mattresses.

There was the still-crisp blue blazer and dress -- with matching purse -- that Corinth Williams got her grandmother for her birthday in July. Mold had crept into the sleeves. There was the dog ...Read more

Tropical storm nears Caribbean islands, expected to become Hurricane Maria

Weather / Weather News /

MIAMI -- Tropical Storm Maria, expected by forecasters to become a hurricane, is expected to cross the Leeward Islands Monday.

Hurricane advisories were extended across Caribbean islands battered by Hurricane Irma as Maria approaches, National Hurricane Center forecasters said Sunday. By midweek, the storm could near the Virgin Islands and ...Read more

In Irma-devastated US Virgin Islands, resolve blends with worry of being forgotten

Weather / Weather News /

CORAL BAY, U.S. Virgin Islands -- Sharon Coldren, standing on the balcony of the Coral Bay Community Council building, raised a megaphone to give a warning to about 100 of her fellow islanders.

"There are tropical storms on the way that could become hurricanes," she said to a crowd gathered Saturday outside the town hall. Evacuate, she said. ...Read more

Sending hurricane help to Cuba is difficult

Weather / Weather News /

MIAMI -- Aware that the Cuban government sometimes rebuffs hurricane relief from large U.S.-based charities, Cuban Americans and exile organizations are trying to come up with ways to help friends and family after Hurricane Irma tore through the island's north coast.

Broad swaths of the island from Baracoa on the eastern tip to west of Havana ...Read more

'The Keys are not what you left': Officials warn those returning to be self-sufficient

Weather / Weather News /

MARATHON, Fla. -- Authorities will soon start readmitting residents everywhere in the Florida Keys but warned Saturday that resources remain spotty and that rebuilding after Hurricane Irma will take weeks, if not months.

Water, electricity and sewage are intermittent at best, Monroe County Mayor George Nugent said at a news conference. Homes ...Read more

Battered St. Martin residents fight to survive, struggle to decide whether to stay

Weather / Weather News /

ST. MARTIN -- Ten days after Hurricane Irma turned St. Martin into a jigsaw of ripped metal and shattered wood, residents were still struggling with an existential question: Should they cling to an island that can barely support life or start over elsewhere?

Irma hit the shared Dutch and French Caribbean island as a Category 5 hurricane with ...Read more

Emergency plan for nursing home where 8 died overlooked air conditioning

Weather / Weather News /

When the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills submitted its emergency management plan to county administrators in July, it included details on how the nursing home would maintain clean linen, distribute canned food and ensure that residents had access to hand sanitizers.

It made no mention of how residents would be kept cool if the home ...Read more

Caribbean weather system expected to become tropical storm

Weather / Weather News /

Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Irma last week may get another hurricane by Monday, National Hurricane Center forecasters said Saturday.

A system about 755 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles was expected to become a tropical storm Saturday as it heads west at a quick 22 mph. Forecasters expect the storm -- Maria is the next ...Read more

Feds look at Irma airfares

Weather / Weather News /

ATLANTA -- When evacuees from Florida expressed shock at sky-high air fares for last-minute trips and accused airlines of price gouging, some frequent business travelers reacted with knowing bemusement.

"Overall, last-minute prices were in the same ballpark as a business traveler would pay," said Patrick Surry, chief data scientist at Hopper, ...Read more

Florida nursing home says calls for help went unanswered but state disputes claims

Weather / Weather News /

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- The first call from the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills to Florida Power & Light was placed about six hours after Hurricane Irma made landfall in Cudjoe Key on Sunday.

Irma had knocked out power to the center where 141 elderly and frail patients lived, and the following morning FPL said it would be there to restore ...Read more

Tropical Storm Lee in far away Atlantic expected over the weekend

Weather / Weather News /

MIAMI -- A tropical depression that formed late Thursday in the far east Atlantic may become Tropical Storm Lee over the weekend.

In their 11 a.m. EDT update, National Hurricane Center forecasters said wind shear over the next three days may slow the storm's quick intensification earlier projected. However, sustained winds could still reach 60 ...Read more

Trump on Irma: 'I never even knew a Category 5 existed'

Weather / Weather News /

Hours after visiting neighborhoods torn by Hurricane Irma on Thursday, President Donald Trump said he was unaware how strong storms could get.

"I never even knew a Category 5 existed," Trump said, even though he has owned his Palm Beach estate of Mar-a-Lago, which sits in a low-lying evacuation zone threatened by hurricane storm surge, for 32 ...Read more

Keys homes, battered but standing, may be a model for reducing damage in Florida

Weather / Weather News /

MIAMI -- Built directly on the Atlantic Ocean in Summerland Key, Bob Chapek's home stood in the crosshairs when Hurricane Irma slammed into the islands.

A terrifying 7-foot surge of sea water burst into the ground-floor garage as 130 mph winds relentlessly hammered the building.

But when the water receded and the winds passed, the concrete ...Read more