WNPR

Florida

Luis Cruz and Esther Gomez had always considered moving to Florida from Puerto Rico. The weather and proximity made it an ideal destination; plus, the couple had family scattered across the state. They just didn't know when they'd take the big step.

Then Hurricane Maria hit. Three weeks after the storm wiped out the island's power grid, less than 20 percent of people have electricity and 64 percent have drinking water.

Roughly half of Florida's homes and businesses remained without electricity on Tuesday, two days after Hurricane Irma plowed through the state. A lot of the business recovery efforts there will depend on how quickly power can be restored.

On her way to work Tuesday morning, Carol McDaniel, vice president of human resources for the Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, made her way through darkened neighborhoods.

Frank Tavares

Floridians are gauging the extent of the damage from Hurricane Irma, which continues to weaken as it heads northwest up the peninsula. 

National Hurricane Center

Millions sought refuge as Irma charged its way through Florida over the weekend. This hour, we get an update on the storm’s impact.

Updated at 5 a.m. ET Monday

Irma has weakened since beginning its push up central Florida, but is still a Category 1 hurricane with winds near 75 mph and higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center. Its center is about 60 miles north of Tampa and continues to move along the northwest coast of the Florida peninsula. The NHC says Irma is expected to weaken to a tropical storm this morning and tropical depression by Tuesday afternoon.

Updated at 6 a.m. ET Saturday

Hurricane Irma is again a Category 4 storm as it slowly moves along the Cuban coast. The storm made landfall on the Camaguey archipelago of Cuba late Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center. As of 5 a.m. Saturday, the hurricane's center was just off the northern coast near central Cuba. The report puts Irma's traveling speed at 12 mph, about 245 miles south-southeast of Miami.

About 5.6 million people in Florida have been ordered to evacuate; forecasters expect the hurricane to hit Florida early Sunday morning.

Updated at 5:00 a.m. ET Friday

The National Hurricane Center says Irma is now a Category 4 storm. It has maximum sustained winds of 155 mph.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

Hurricane Irma continued its northwestward sweep Thursday evening, losing little steam as it skirted the Dominican Republic and Haiti and bearing the full force of its 165-mph winds down upon the southeastern Bahamas and away from the Turks and Caicos islands. Forecasters upgraded their alert for South Florida to a warning.

A "disgruntled employee" who was recently fired from a business near Orlando, Fla., fatally shot five of his former co-workers before killing himself on Monday morning, according to local law enforcement.

Four of the victims died at the scene, while a fifth died at a hospital, authorities said. Seven other employees were in the Fiamma Inc. building at the time of the attack and were unharmed. Fiamma is an Italy-based manufacturer of accessories for motor vehicles.

Courtesy Joe Coss

The job of a public announcer is unique. Joe Coss of Connecticut Public Broadcasting was making calls at Daytona 500 last week, and fresh off the plane, he came into our studio to talk about it.

Updated 11:50 p.m. ET with hurricane center report

The eye of Hurricane Matthew is just off the coast of Georgia, pushing surge flooding into Florida and Georgia, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm's highest sustained winds are 105 mph. The storm is expected to move near or over the coast of South Carolina Saturday.

Updated 1:23 a.m. ET with emergency declaration in Georgia

Late Thursday night President Obama declared a state of emergency in 30 Georgia counties. The president's action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts and provide "appropriate assistance."

Updated 11:00 p.m. ET with hurricane center report

Tropical Storm Hermine, in the Gulf of Mexico, is growing stronger as it approaches the Florida coast, the National Hurricane Center says.

The storm, which has been moving very slowly, is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall north of Tampa likely early Friday. It's then predicted to pass overland toward the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, weakening as it goes.

As expected, the Zika outbreak in Florida is growing — though how fast is still difficult to say.

State and federal health officials say mosquitoes are spreading Zika in two neighborhoods of Miami, including Miami Beach. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told pregnant women Friday not to go into these neighborhoods — and to consider postponing travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County.

It's official. The Zika virus has established a toehold in Florida.

Fourteen people likely caught Zika in a neighborhood north of downtown Miami, health officials said Monday. That means mosquitoes in that area have picked up the virus and are spreading it.

Zika can cause severe birth defects if a woman is infected at anytime during pregnancy.

So the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is doing something it has never done before: issuing a travel advisory to a part of the continental U.S. because of an outbreak of an infectious disease.

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