Hurricane Irma

Update 11/20 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved Florida to conduct telephone interviews for individuals who pre-registered for DSNAP who also have a disability or who are over the age of 60. The lawsuit is continuing to push for registration possibilities for people who do not meet that criteria.

After Hurricane Irma, the federal government offered a food assistance program to Floridians who needed help because of the storm. The signup period for that program ended last week.

But there’s an ongoing lawsuit that might reopen registration for some people with disabilities because, the suit claims, the lines to sign up were prohibitively long.

South Florida lost a lot of trees during Hurricane Irma. While Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties avoided a direct hit, the storm managed to topple  palm and other canopy trees, littering the streets with tree trunks, branches and palm fronds.

One month later, the debris from the trees and shrubbery remains on the curb or street waiting to be picked up. 

Hurricane Irma has left Hermés Castro feeling lucky. Before the storm, this stocky former butcher turned outsider artist had to scavenge far and wide for the shells, scraps of string and pieces of bark and branch he uses to build his multicolored, multifaceted boat sculptures. And now that the storm has come and gone and man-high piles of refuse litter Miami’s streets, Hermés is enjoying a bit of a bonanza.

Florida’s Public Archaeological Network archaeologist Rachael Kangas surveyed the damage Irma caused to Otter Mound Preserve — 2 acres of land that was formed by the now-extinct Calusa tribe between 700 and 1200 AD.

Jessica Meszaros / WGCU News

Tuesday was the last day for federal financial food assistance for residents in Lee and Collier Counties who were affected by Hurricane Irma. Thousands of Southwest Floridians have already been processed.

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