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Everglades City Mayor, On the Job Just Days Before Hurricane Irma, Reflects on Recovery

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Photo: Jessica Meszaros, WGCU
Debris lines the streets of Everglades City weeks after Hurricane Irma caused up to ten feet of storm surge.

While most of Southwest Florida is getting back to normal nearly three weeks after Hurricane Irma, in Everglades City in southern Collier County, it’s a different story. The town saw eight to ten feet of storm surge from Hurricane Irma, some homes completely washed away, and those still standing filled by mud, mold, and destruction.

WGCU's Jessica Meszaros was in Everglades City where she spoke with Mayor Howie Grimm, who was only on the job for five days before the storm hit, about how his town and the people who live there are recovering, and about the lack of temporary housing. 

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.
Julie Glenn is the News Director and the host of Gulf Coast Live. She joined the WGCU team in November of 2016 to expand the Gulf Coast Live call-in radio show from once a week to five days a week. Since then, the show has been recognized in state and regional competitions and has featured artists, political leaders, historians, environmental experts, doctors, local reporters, and national and international scholars. After leading the station's award-winning coverage of Hurricane Irma in September of 2017, Julie was named Interim News Director. In January of 2018, she launched WGCU's first podcast: Grape Minds.
Jessica Meszaros is a reporter and host of All Things Considered for WGCU News.
Rachel Iacovone is a reporter and associate producer of Gulf Coast Live for WGCU News. Rachel came to WGCU as an intern in 2016, during the presidential race. She went on to cover Florida Gulf Coast University students at President Donald Trump's inauguration on Capitol Hill and Southwest Floridians in attendance at the following day's Women's March on Washington.Rachel was first contacted by WGCU when she was managing editor of FGCU's student-run media group, Eagle News. She helped take Eagle News from a weekly newspaper to a daily online publication with TV and radio branches within two years, winning the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for Best Use of Multimedia in a cross-platform series she led for National Coming Out Day. She also won the Mark of Excellence Award for Feature Writing for her five-month coverage of an FGCU student's transition from male to female.As a WGCU reporter, she produced the first radio story in WGCU's Curious Gulf Coast project, which answered the question: Does SWFL Have More Cases of Pediatric Cancer?Rachel graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.