Lawmakers Approve Post-Hurricane KidCare Aid

Mar 5, 2018

Despite an earlier assertion from a top Medicaid official that the state could be giving a “freebie,” lawmakers have agreed to fund Florida KidCare health-insurance premiums for more than 6,000 children living in 48 counties that were impacted by Hurricane Irma.

For Geancarlo Rodriguez, Hurricane Irma was a little bit like summer.

Rodriguez has worked as a clerical assistant at Hialeah Gardens High School for nine years, answering phones and greeting visitors for about 25 hours a week. But when his school closed for seven days because of the September storm, he didn’t get paid.

Drones and batteries for traffic lights could be part of Miami-Dade’s preparations for future hurricanes, according to county Transportation and Public Works Director Alice Bravo.

Bravo is in the process of debriefing staff members following Hurricane Irma. She said about 80 percent of traffic lights in Miami-Dade lost power during the storm.  

Images/caption: Hal Pierce, SSAI/NASA/GSFC

Already battered by Hurricane Irma earlier in September, Hurricane Maria made landfall Sept. 20 in southeast Puerto Rico. Storm trackers with NASA's Earth Observatory say the storm’s track "was a near worst-case scenario," making it the fifth strongest hurricane to ever hit the U.S. With electricity and communications wiped out, those in Florida's Puerto Rican community is desperate to reach their loved ones.

Photo: Rachel Iacovone, WGCU

Four days after Hurricane Irma ravaged Southwest Florida, scenes of recovery stand alongside calls for help. As President Donald Trump visits Fort Myers and Naples Thursday, 1.3 million Floridians remain without power, and community efforts are mobilizing to bring food and other necessities to those most in need.