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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, Secret Service director says, 'We failed;' Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

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Democrats consolidate support behind Vice President Harris, Republicans threaten legal action over changes to the presidential ticket, and a possible bipartisan consensus forms on the failure of the Secret Service to protect former President Trump.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

FL expert stresses vigilance, compassion this hurricane season

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Tuesday, May 28, 2024   

As experts predict one of the busiest Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, they also recommended Florida residents and visitors prepare, so they will stay safe.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts between 17 and 25 named storms this summer and fall, with eight to 13 achieving hurricane status. For context, an average Atlantic hurricane season produces 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

Edwin Everham, professor of marine and ecological sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University, studies hurricanes and said predictions and modeling have only been getting more accurate. He emphasized when there are recommendations to evacuate, people should.

"A higher number of storms, a higher number of named storms, a higher number of intense storms is just increasing the number of places that are going to have a bad year," Everham explained.

He added people have to be ready for the increased likelihood a community will be hit by a cyclonic storm. The six-month-long hurricane season begins June 1 and ends in November.

A Category 4 storm struck Lee County in 2022, with around 150 fatalities. Reflecting on Hurricane Ian, Everham got emotional recalling the morning after, when he saw someone in a hammock on his campus. Initially thinking they were in distress, he said they turned out to be part of an emergency response crew.

"'We're here to help.' And had to be 30 trucks in the second and third floor of the garage, that were all staged by the state and federal government, staged by FEMA," Everham recounted. "They were, you know, power line guys; they were people to clear roads. I'm not sure what all of the expertise they had."

In recent years, climate change has led to more frequent and powerful storms, resulting in costly damage and hundreds of fatalities in the United States. Everham also urged vigilance about flooding, storm surges and other water-related hazards from storms, as he said they can be just as catastrophic.

Disclosure: Florida Gulf Coast University contributes to our fund for reporting. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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