<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Hurricane Season]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcmiami.com/feature/hurricane-season http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.comen-usMon, 24 Jul 2017 12:54:31 -0400Mon, 24 Jul 2017 12:54:31 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[South Florida Evacuation Zones in the Event of a Hurricane]]> Tue, 23 May 2017 11:49:34 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052317+miami-dade+broward+evacuation+zone+maps.jpg

Living in South Florida poses the threat of tropical storms and hurricanes, so it's important to know if your home is located in an evacuation zone.

Miami-Dade and Broward counties have flood zone maps identifying the areas that are at risk of a storm surge in the event of severe weather.

In Miami-Dade, there are five surge zones labeled A to E. The county describes Zone A as the greatest risk for a storm surge for category 1 and higher storms.

Zone E is at greatest risk for a storm surge from category 5 storms.

Almost the entire county south of Tamiami Trail falls in one of its five surge zones.

The areas include Coral Gables, Country Walk and even the Redland west of Krome Avenue.

Miami-Dade County updated its storm surge map for the first time in 10 years in 2013.

Broward County's evacuation zones include two areas: Plan A from the coastline to A1A and Plan B from A1A to North Federal Highway.

The risk in Broward is not from the ocean moving inland, but from water pushing up rivers and canals eventually swamping streets across the county.

While emergency officials stress no single hurricane would force every zone to evacuate, it's important to know where you live and know what to do in case your zone is called.

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<![CDATA[Hurricane Season Supplies List]]> Mon, 15 May 2017 16:28:24 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/can+foods+crop.jpg Hurricane Season is from June 1 to Nov. 30. And Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends gathering the following supplies in case of a storm.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Full List of Hurricane Shelters in South Florida]]> Tue, 23 May 2017 11:16:30 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/hurricane+shelter.jpg

In the event of a hurricane evacuation, shelters will open throughout South Florida. Keep in mind that not every center will be open for every evacuation, so call your local hurricane hotline to find out which centers will be open. Pet owners will have to register for pet-friendly evacuation.


Here is a list of all the shelters that may open during a hurricane evacuation:

Miami-Dade County: Hurricane Guide

  • Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School (Pet-friendly)
  • North Miami Senior High School
  • North Miami Beach Senior High School
  • Highland Oaks Middle School
  • Miami Central Senior High School
  • Lawton Chiles Middle School
  • Hialeah Gardens Senior High School
  • Barbara Goleman Senior High School
  • Country Club Middle School
  • Miami Carol City Senior
  • Booker T. Washington Senior High School
  • Ronald Reagan Senior High School
  • Charles Drew Middle School
  • Miami Coral Park Senior High School
  • W.R. Thomas Middle School
  • Robert Morgan Educational Center
  • Terra Environmental Senior High School
  • South Dade Senior High School
  • South Miami Senior High School
  • Felix Varela Senior High School

Not every site will open for every evacuation. For Miami-Dade shelter addresses and evacuation routes, click here or dial 3-1-1 to find out which shelters will be open when an evacuation is announced.

Broward County: Hurricane Preparedness Guide

  • Lyons Creek Middle School
  • Monarch High School
  • Coral Glades High School
  • Fox Trail Elementary School 
  • Rock Island Elementary/Arthur Ashe Middle School
  • Watkins Elementary School
  • Park Lakes Elementary School
  • New Renaissance Middle School
  • Everglades High School
  • Silver Trail Middle School
  • West Broward High School
  • Plantation Elementary School
  • Pompano Beach High School
  • Falcon Cove Middle School
  • Millennium Middle School (pet-friendly)

For Broward shelter addresses and evacuation routes, click here or dial the emergency hotline at 3-1-1 or 954-831-4000.

Monroe County: Storm Ready Guide

  • Coral Shores High School (Pet-friendly)
  • Key West High School (Pet-friendly)
  • Marathon High School (Pet-friendly)
  • Sugarloaf Elementary School (Pet-friendly)

Monroe County shelters will not open for Category 3,4, or 5 hurricanes. For more information about where to evacuate in the event of a Category 3 or higher, check the Monroe County Emergency Management website before a storm or call 1-800-955-5504.

More Weather Content:

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[What to Do During a Hurricane if You're Stuck in Your Car]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 17:40:08 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052417+steve+maclaughlin+hurricane+season.jpg

NBC 6 meteorologist Steve MacLaughlin breaks down what you should do if you find yourself stuck in your car during a hurricane.

<![CDATA[Tropical Storm Don Forms Near Windward Islands]]> Mon, 17 Jul 2017 18:07:49 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/071717+tropical+storm+don+5+pm.jpg

Tropical Storm Don formed east of the Windward Islands Monday, while a second tropical wave churned in the Atlantic Ocean.

Don had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph as it moved west at 17 mph about 485 miles east-southeast of Barbados, according to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The storm was expected to continue moving west through Wednesday, with little change in strength anticipated.

Don was not expected to be a threat to South Florida.

A second system in the central Atlantic has a much lower chance of developing (20 to 30 percent). It looks as though it will move north before impacting any land.

Photo Credit: National Hurricane Center]]>
<![CDATA[Hurricane Planning and Pets]]> Tue, 04 Oct 2016 15:40:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/Hurricanes+and+Pets.JPG

Here we go, South Florida. It’s been eleven years since a named storm made landfall in our community, and while the hiatus has been nice, we all knew it was too good to last. As Matthew gets closer, it’s time to start getting prepared - and that means preparing our pets as well. Here are some things to think about as we get ready to batton down the hatches.

Before The Storm

The most important thing you can do for your pet right now is to get him or her microchipped! Many pets go missing during and after storms for reasons I’ll get to in a moment. Every pet should have a microchip anyway, so now is a good time to check this very important box. If your pet already has a microchip, be aware that these chips are not locators. To increase the chances of being reunited with your pet, call the company who manufactures your pet’s chip, and make sure all of your information is registered and up to date. Your veterinarian will be able to scan your pet’s chip and advise you how to contact the manufacturer. Roughly 60 percent of pet microchips are either never registered, or are registered with outdated information, so now is a good time to check this very important box. Since storms often disrupt the flow of business, place an ID tag with your pet’s contact information on your pet’s collar.

Next, figure out where your pet will ride out the storm. I recommend keeping pets crated in the same room where your family will be staying. Try to stay calm, as storms can be frightening for pets as well as people.

While litter boxes make it easier for cats to handle being inside during a storm, dogs may require a place to void inside the house. Puppy training pads and newspapers work well, as do indoor grass patches.

If you plan to evacuate, make sure you can take your pets with you. For a list of hotels that accept pets, please visit www.dogfriendly.com. If you plan to use a public shelter, bear in mind that not all of these facilities allow pets. Check out these lists of pet friendly shelters in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties, and be advised that you cannot use many of them unless you are pre-registered to do so. If you think you will need to use these facilities, you must pre-register NOW!

When you’re stocking up on food, water, and extra medications, don’t forget about your pet! Finally, make sure your pet’s first aid kit is well-stocked and ready for action. You may also want to take a few minutes to brush up on the basics of pet CPR.

Finally, find out if your veterinary hospital and local emergency clinics are equipped with generators. If they are not, find facilities that are, and be prepared to use them as a backup should you need them in the midst of a power outage.

During The Storm

Be sure to provide your pet’s favorite chew toys and food puzzles to keep his mind on something other than the chaos outside. If your kitty enjoys catnip, by all means, allow her to partake! If she just wants to hunker down and be left alone, that’s okay too. Watch her closely after the storm for inappropriate urination. This can be the first sign of stress-related cystitis or urinary tract infections.

This is a great time to run your dog through his favorite trick and obedience routines. It gives them the sense of confidence they need to get through a potentially frightening experience - and may help to refocus your frazzled mind as well! Zohan will be literally jumping through hoops while sporting his awesome Thundershirt! For more tips on keeping pets calm throughout the storm, click here. If you think your pet may need some anti-anxiety medications, now is the time to see your veterinarian.

After The Storm

Even during a relatively minor storm event, the fences, gates and pool guards that keep our pets safe can be first things to take a hit. It is very easy to fall into our pre-storm habits and simply open the door for our pets. Please do not do this until you have had the chance to thoroughly inspect your property. Make sure fences are holding steady and gates are firmly in place. Many homeowners take down their pool fences to prevent them from blowing away. Several of our patients drowned in their owners’ pools after Katrina and Wilma in 2004. If your pool fence is down, secure any doggie doors to prevent your pet from entering the yard unattended.

Storms also stir up nasty critters such as snakes and bufo toads. Flushed from their homes by heavy rains, these animals are likely to feel more defensive, and will not think twice about harming your pet. To best preserve your sanity, err on the side of caution, and leash-walk your pets in the yard until life returns to normal. Have maps to the nearest pet emergency clinics handy, just in case.

In addition to hiding downed power lines, standing water can harbor intestinal parasites. Make sure your pets are current on heartworm and parasite prevention, and do not allow them to drink or play in standing water.

If you lose power, monitor pets for signs of heat exhaustion. Provide plenty of fresh drinking water, and consider seeking out an air-conditioned boarding facility for pets who may be having a tough time. Keep pets, especially cats, away from burning candles. About 100 house fires per year are started by pets, and candles are often the main culprit.

Finally - try to stay calm. Our pets take their cues from us, so the more we relax, the more they relax. We’ve only just entered the most active part of the season, so dust off your disaster plan - and above all, stay safe.


Dr. Kupkee is the lead practitioner at Sabal Chase Animal Clinic.

Do you have a question for Dr. Kupkee? Send him an email by clicking here.

Click here to check out deals and discounts exclusively for NBC6.com fans!

<![CDATA[White House Sends Mixed Messages on Battling Hurricanes]]> Fri, 09 Jun 2017 14:10:20 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/hurricane8.jpg

As hurricane season begins, and scientists predict the Atlantic Ocean could see another above-normal year, the White House is sending contradictory messages about whether it supports funding for better weather forecasting.

On the one hand, President Donald Trump in April signed a bipartisan Congressional bill that protects improvements to hurricane forecasting and tsunami warnings from budget cuts.

On the other, the president's proposed budget for 2018 fiscal year, released in May, would slash funding for those very programs, operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its National Weather Service. NOAA accounts for much of the 16 percent reduction to the Commerce Department, of which it is a part.

"This budget would ensure that (NOAA's National Weather Service) becomes a 2nd or 3rd tier weather forecasting enterprise, frozen in the early 2000's," said David W. Titley, a retired rear admiral who oversaw the satellite and weather programs at NOAA and is now a meteorology professor at Penn State School of International Affairs. "This budget is the opposite of making America great:  It will make us more vulnerable and less prepared to face extreme weather in a changing and never-experienced climate."

The bill signed by Trump, the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act, requires that NOAA protect its Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program, establish a plan to improve tornado warnings and develop meteorological forecasts for varying time frames, from two weeks to up to two years. 

But the proposed budget, in the broadest terms, halts NOAA's cutting edge work, such as trying to extend weather predictions beyond 14 days, and makes large cuts in its tsunami warning system, its climate research and its efforts to develop and test unmanned aircraft and undersea vehicles, among other areas, Titley said.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the second ranking Republican in the Senate, in May called Trump's budget proposal "dead on arrival." Such proposals are more statements of priorities than legislation, he said, and both Republicans and Democrats criticized the cuts as too steep and questioned the accounting.

But if the budget has little chance of passing Congress, it does indicate the White House's priorities.

Rick Spinrad, a former chief scientist for NOAA, said that the cuts to research in particular would virtually guarantee that the United States would see little or no progress in the ability to improve forecasts of hurricanes' intensity or tracks.

"If we are satisfied that the current forecast capabilities are adequate, and that we are willing to accept the consequent losses of lives and property, then these cuts will be without consequence," Spinrad said. "More realistically, of course, without the needed improvements in observational systems, research on hurricane physics, and investment in high performance computing we will continue to see coastal communities and businesses suffer devastating losses."

Another former NOAA scientist, Scott Weaver, who is now a senior climate scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, said Trump's budget disregards science and its ability to protect lives and property.

One example: a $5 million cut to programs for more reliable weather and storm forecasts through advanced modeling. It would slow the transition from models to real-life warning systems, hurting families and business owners preparing for severe storms, Weaver said. 

"Weather is essentially bi-partisan," Weaver said. "Improving weather forecasts, there's really broad agreement that that's something that no matter what political background you come from is important and necessary. So that is why this budget is so striking in that context — because it's just so outside the bounds, it's unbelievable."

The United States has lagged in accurate weather forecasting — the European model, for example, predicted Hurricane Sandy's trajectory correctly while the America model put it out to sea — and the cuts would derail U.S. efforts to catch up, Weaver said. 

In response to the criticism, the White House Office of Management and Budget countered that the budget was consistent with the intent of the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act and recognized the value of accurate and reliable weather forecasts to American businesses and communities.

"That is why the 2018 budget preserves the proper and appropriate weather forecasting capabilities for the National Weather Service (NWS)," it said in a statement. "This includes continued support for the current generation of weather satellites that provide critical data to weather models and targeted increases in funding for the systems NWS personnel rely on to produce and disseminate forecasts to the public."

Weaver said, however, that although the budget for maintaining the adminstration's current satellites increases slightly, the Trump administration will review the programs for 2019 and beyond.

"And so basically what that's saying is that in the later years, we're not going to be interested in developing any new satellite missions to replace our aging satellite infrastructure," he said.

The budget and the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act appear to be in agreement on the satellite programs. The act requires NOAA to consider buying commercially provided weather satellite data rather than launching government satellites.

One of Florida's U.S. senators, Democrat Bill Nelson has sought backups for NOAA's fleet of aircraft designed to fly in and around hurricanes. The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act does require NOAA to have a reliable alternative but the budget does not fund it.

"The administration's budget is literally betting the house on there not being a big storm this year," Nelson said. "By cutting money to improve hurricane forecasting and failing to invest in a backup for the hurricane hunters, it's a risky and reckless bet that could endanger lives and property."

Florida's second senator, Republican Marco Rubio, and the mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Gimenez, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For this year's hurricane season, which began on June 1 and continues through Nov. 30, forecasters from NOAA predict a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season and only a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season.

An average season produces 12 named storms, six of which become hurricanes, three of them major with winds of 111 miles per hour or higher, according to NOAA.

Forecasters this year predict a 70 percent chance of 11 to 17 storms powerful enough to be named. Five to nine could become hurricanes, and two to four of them major hurricanes.

"The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Nino, near- or above-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region," Gerry Bell, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said in a statement.

How climate change is affecting hurricanes is still under study. In a report released in March, NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory said it was premature to conclude that human activities, and in particular the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, have already had a detectable effect on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity.

But it also said human activities might have caused changes not yet detected, because they were too small or because of observational limitations or not yet modelled. 

Climate warming will likely cause hurricanes in the coming century to be more intense globally and to have higher rainfall rates than present-day hurricanes, it said.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Hurricane Season 2017 Begins]]> Thu, 01 Jun 2017 23:58:27 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Hurricane_Season_2017_Begins.jpg

Hurricane season is officially underway and NBC 6 is here to keep you prepared.

<![CDATA[Hurricane Season: The Dangers of Storm Surge]]> Wed, 31 May 2017 19:26:42 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/220*120/dangers+of+storm+surge.JPG

Hurricane season starts tomorrow, and this year there's a new way to warn people about the danger. And it's especially important for people living near the coast. NBC 6 first alert meteorologist Ryan Phillips tells us why storm surge warnings are so valuable.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Hurricane Hunters: How They Keep Us Safe]]> Wed, 31 May 2017 17:20:09 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/192*120/GettyImages-612175130.jpg

NBC 6 now has the First Alert Doppler 6000, the most powerful live radar in South Florida. It’s one of the tools we use to keep you informed and prepared during hurricane season and throughout the year.

The radar at the NBC 6 tower weighs 38,000 pounds. But it’s nothing compared to the hurricane hunters used by the National Hurricane Center to keep you safe.

Hercules is one of the mighty air force planes that log a lot of frequent flier miles during hurricane season. It’s the chariot of hurricane hunters.

“This aircraft is specialized for weather recon,” said Warren Madden, the Aerial Recon Coordinator for the National Hurricane Center. “That means punching through hurricanes.”

Matched with the recon plane of the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, these planes fly all over our coasts and into storms using their own cutting edge radar and technology to relay vital information.

“Doppler gives you a side view of the storm, which makes the scientists really happy,” said Lt. Commander Nate Kahn, a hurricane hunter pilot.

In the air between eight and ten hours a day, they crisscross storms four times, logging a continuous stream of wind, temperature and pressure data in very dangerous conditions.

The experts describe it as a “roller coaster in a car wash” or a “go pro in a dishwasher.”

The National Hurricane Center then takes all of that information and provides us with advisories, all with the intention of keeping South Florida safe. These hurricane hunters put their lives at risk to help save ours – but only if we listen and prepare.

The hurricane hunters say they do their best to minimize the risk when they fly into storms and that their knowledge of hurricanes helps them pick their spots. The planes are based out of the Virgin Islands, Mississippi and Hawaii. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[First Alert Doppler 6000 a New Tool for Hurricane Season]]> Thu, 01 Jun 2017 18:26:49 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NBC+6+First+Alert+Weather+Team.png

We're just days away from the start of hurricane season and we're helping you prepare for the storms and track any and all systems moving our way.

Hurricane season starts on Thursday, and the First Alert Weather team is helping you get ready and stay safe. Preparation and information are key and nobody can keep you better informed this year than NBC 6 thanks to exclusive, cutting-edge technology that towers above us.

While it may look like a big golf ball in the sky, but don’t be fooled-- our First Alert Doppler 6000 is the most powerful radar in South Florida and it specializes in analyzing any and all storms that threaten our area.

“This radar will allow me to see the entire hurricane as opposed to just the front edge of a hurricane as it’s approaching South Florida,” said meteorologist John Morales.

We like to call it cutting thru the storm. The power of our doppler can send a signal through the entire length of storms up to 300 miles out, so we can forecast what to expect on all ends of a hurricane or tropical storm.

“From a meteorological point of view, it allows for greater analysis, a better way of understanding the threat and being able to convey that to the public," Morales explained. "Having that added value is just going to help me communicate to the people what that threat is.”

We can communicate that information faster than anyone else can because of that power and because it’s located right here in our Miramar studios.

“The best part of our own live doppler radar, First Alert Doppler 6000-- it’s live! There is no waiting," said meteorologist Ryan Phillips. "Our viewers can take confidence in knowing every time that arm sweeps across the skies of South Florida that is new, immediate information, whether that is wind gusts, rain rate, the turning of the storm, all that information at my fingertips instantaneously,”

You can download our app from your app store now so if South Florida is threatened you can remain prepared for whatever heads our way.

<![CDATA[Hurricane Categories: What You Need to Know]]> Tue, 23 May 2017 17:30:37 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000029691329_1200x675_951629379783.jpg

NBC 6 Chief Meteorologist John Morales breaks down the different hurricane categories.

<![CDATA[Important Phone Numbers and Websites for Hurricane Season]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 17:22:50 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-103728814.jpg

It's important to stay connected before, during and after a hurricane. Here is some important contact information and websites that can help you and your family when an emergency happens.


Hurricane Guide

County Contact Center: 311 or 305-468-5900 TTY: 711

Email: 311@miamidade.gov

Twitter: @MiamiDadeCounty, @MiamiDadeEM

Miami-Dade County Office of Emergency Management

Miami-Dade Emergency & Evacuation Assistance Program Registration

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Storm Center

Miami-Dade Schools Hurricane Hotline: 305-995-3000

Miami-Dade Schools Twitter: @MDCPS @MiamiSup


Hurricane Guide

Hurricane Hotline: 311 or 954-831-4000 TTY: 954-831-3940

Broward County Emergency Management: 954-831-3902 TTY: 954-831-3940

Broward Vulnerable Population Registry

Twitter: @BrowardCounty @ReadyBroward

Broward County Public Schools Storm Resource Center

Broward Public Schools Information Hotline: 754-321-0321

Broward Schools Twitter: @browardschools


Monroe County Information Hot Line: 800-955-5504

Monroe County Emergency Management

Twitter: @monroecounty

Florida Power & Light:

FP&L Website

1-800-4-OUTAGE TTY: 711

Twitter: @insideFPL

American Red Cross:

South Florida Region Website

Miami-Dade/Monroe: 305-644-1200

Broward: 954-797-3800

Twitter: @SFLRedCross

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):

FEMA Website


TTY: 800-462-7585

Twitter: @fema

Florida Department of Financial Services:

FLDFS Website

Hurricane Helpline: 1-800-227-8676 TTY: 1-800-640-0886

Twitter: @FLDFS

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[TS Arlene Forms in Atlantic, Expected to Quickly Dissipate]]> Thu, 20 Apr 2017 17:05:11 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042017+tropical+storm+arlene.jpg

Tropical Storm Arlene formed in the north Atlantic Thursday, becoming the first tropical storm of 2017, officials with the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

The storm was about 815 miles west of the Azores Thursday afternoon, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.

The system is forecast to dissipate either Thursday night or sometime Friday, NHC officials said.

There were no watches or warnings in effect. The Atlantic Hurricane Season doesn't officially start until June 1.

Photo Credit: National Hurricane Center]]>
<![CDATA[Below Average Number of Hurricanes Predicted in 2017]]> Thu, 06 Apr 2017 14:48:51 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-613367746.jpg

With less than two months to go until the start of hurricane season, forecasters at Colorado State University unveiled their projections for 2017. There is slightly better news than expected for those along the East Coast.

Initial projections say there will be 11 named storms forming in Atlantic Ocean between June 1 and Nov. 30, with four of them becoming hurricanes and just two of those being classified as major.

Those numbers are down from the 12 named storms and 6.5 hurricanes each season, numbers that come from a 30-season average taken between 1981 and 2010.

Forecasters predict a 42 percent chance that at least one Category 3 or higher storm will hit the U.S. Coast – including a 24 percent chance of the east coast of Florida being struck.

In their report, officials say cooler waters in the Atlantic in recent months make conditions “less conducive” for hurricanes to form and intensify.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Subtropical Depression Forms in Central Atlantic]]> Wed, 19 Apr 2017 11:45:40 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/041917+subtropical+depression+new.jpg

Subtropical Depression One formed in the central Atlantic Wednesday morning, officials with the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

The depression is no threat to land and was expected to quickly dissipate. It will have no impacts in South Florida.

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, the depression was about 890 miles west-southwest of the Azores, moving north-northeast at 8 mph with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.

No watches or warnings were in effect.

Photo Credit: NBC 6
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Sen. Nelson: Hiring Freeze Could Hurt Hurricane Response]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:48:30 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/012417+bill+nelson.jpg

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson says President Donald Trump's hiring freeze could hurt the government's response to a dangerous hurricane.

Sen. Nelson spoke out Monday on the vacancies in the National Weather Service, the same day Trump signed an executive order that stops all federal agencies from hiring, except for the Pentagon, the Miami Herald reported.

"The National Weather Service's around-the-clock forecasts save lives in Florida and around the nation," Nelson said, according to the Herald. "Failure to fill vital vacancies within the agency means those hands won't be around when the monster storm hits. Not only would that be irresponsible, but it could put people's lives at risk."

According to the NWS, there are a total of 638 vacancies, roughly 16 percent of the workforce. There are 65 vacancies in the Southern Region.

Of the 638 vacancies, 570 are "emergency essestial" employees, meaning they must report to work during hurricanes, floods and other emergencies.

Trump’s nominee to head the Commerce Department, billionaire Wilbur Ross, said last week that he would move quickly to fill the NWS vacancies.

"Timely and accurate weather information is crucial to protect both lives and property, and is also essential to the smooth functioning of numerous areas of commerce, including aviation, shipping, fishing and farming, to name just a few," Ross said in a statement. "Proper staffing of the NWS is therefore important and, if confirmed, I intend to review the current efforts and see how they can be improved."

The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[FPL Wants to Recoup $320M in Hurricane Matthew Costs]]> Wed, 04 Jan 2017 17:32:18 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/040511+fpl+truck.jpg

Florida Power & Light is looking to recoup nearly $320 million from customers to cover costs associated with Hurricane Matthew and to replenish a storm reserve.

Documents filed with the state Public Service Commission by FPL are requesting to start collecting the money in March, the News Service of Florida reported.

The company says 1.2 million customers had service interrupted and it replaced more than 250 miles of wire, more than 900 transformers and some 400 poles after Matthew swept past the state in October.

Many of the outages were reported in central and north Florida, including Brevard, Volusia, Flagler and St. Johns counties. According to the filing, the company estimates it spent $316.8 million in restoration costs.

The Public Service Commission has the authority to review the request and determine how much would be passed on to customers. The collections would last a year and customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month, for example, would see their monthly bills increase by $3.36, the documents said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2016 Hurricane Season Comes to an End Wednesday]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 09:04:58 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-613367746.jpg

Wednesday makes the final day of the 2016 Hurricane Season – one that saw Florida end its streak of avoiding being hit by a hurricane.

Overall, there were 15 named storms in the Atlantic this season. Seven of them became hurricanes, with three of them being classified as major storms.

After not being directly hit by a hurricane since the 2005 season, Florida saw that streak come to a close when Hurricane Hermine struck the Florida Panhandle, just south of Tallahassee, on September 1st.

Parts of the state were also hit in early October by Hurricane Matthew – which initially was on a path to hit South Florida, but stayed offshore before hitting such cities as Daytona Beach and Jacksonville.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Flights Bring Aid to Haitians, North Miami Mayor Speaks]]> Thu, 13 Oct 2016 23:30:37 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/101316+haiti+aid+flight.jpg

The mayor of North Miami is calling for the U.S. to continue its halt of deportations to Haiti for the foreseeable future, as aid began slowly making its way to residents who still urgently need help after Hurricane Matthew.

North Miami Mayor Smith Joseph spent Thursday getting an aerial view of southwestern Haiti as crews worked to deliver food and supplies to residents. It's terrible from the air, and there's desperation on the ground as thousands continue to sleep outside.

"They have delivered goods and the minute that they deliver the goods then they distributed them to the people and it's like nothing was done. It's like a drop in the ocean," Joseph said.

The U.S. has temporarily halted any deportations to Haiti because of the destruction Matthew caused but Joseph believes the U.S. should continue its halt of deportations not just temporarily but for the foreseeable future, something that could have a big impact on South Florida.

"Not just a halt but to stop deportation and expand TPS for the Haitians who are living in Haiti and are looking for the American dream like everybody else," Joseph said.

The TPS, or Temporary Protected Status, would give Haitians a coveted protection. The U.S. policy shows it's allowed in an environmental disaster, such as an earthquake or hurricane, or an epidemic.

On Thursday's journey with the task force assigned to get food to western Haiti, we saw men racing to a helicopter that had just landed in what normally is a soccer field. The Army pilots are back in sky almost as quickly as they came.

None of the flights can operate at night and the roads out in the areas are still impassable in some areas. So there is another night of hunkering down but at least with food in one town.

<![CDATA[7 Deaths, 2 in Miami-Dade, Related to Matthew: Officials]]> Mon, 10 Oct 2016 18:45:54 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_16280782195701-hurricane-matthew-satellite-image-space.jpg

The deaths of seven people - including two Miami-Dade residents - have been connected with Hurricane Matthew, according to the state medical examiner.

Both Miami-Dade deaths were caused when the victims, both men in their 70s, fell from ladders while preparing their homes for the hurricane, according to a report issued Monday.

The manner of death for the men - ages 71 and 78 - is listed as accidental with blunt injuries the probable cause of death listed. The deaths happened between October 4-5.

Of the other five deaths in the state, three happened in Volusia County, while one each occurred in Duval and Orange counties. All are listed as accidents.

The youngest victim was a 9-year-old boy in Volusia, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning after a generator was turned on in his home, the report said. An 89-year-old Volusia man was electrocuted and burned after power lines fell on his home, the report said.

The third Volusia victim, a 63-year-old woman, was feeding her animals when a tree fell on her, the report said.

In Orange County, a 70-year-old woman suffered respiratory distress when her BiPAP machine failed during a power outage, the report said. She was taken to an emergency room where she later died.

The Duval victim, a 72-year-old man, was repairing a hole in his roof when he fell off the roof, the report said.

Photo Credit: NOAA via AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cholera Fears in Haiti After Hurricane Matthew]]> Mon, 10 Oct 2016 23:22:28 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/101016+haiti+hurricane+matthew+aftermath.jpg

Across Haiti there is a real fear about what's is happening in places that have been cut off due to Hurricane Matthew as the roads remain impassable to the western portion of the island and the fear of cholera was spreading rapidly Monday.

Families who survived the storm are struggling to make it after the flood waters from Matthew left just the cinder blocks of homes.

In one town, families lost all of their crops during the time of the banana harvest, their entire livelihood wiped out.

On Sunday, Haitian resident Moroni Charles was in Les Cayes, one of the areas hardest hit on Haiti's southern coastline.

"That was really sad to see that city and all the people that are like drying their stuff that's been after the hurricane by the woods," Charles said. "That was really devastating."

On a flight to Port-Au-Prince, American Airlines flight attendants were asking for donations from passengers to aid UNICEF and they were handing the money over. Relief workers from South Florida are now in Haiti including Chris Cottone, who came from Fort Lauderdale.

"Well you look around and you can obviously see tragedy. The country has in many areas not even rebuilt from the earthquake so we have a great love from the Haitian people and we just want to give in anyway we can," Cottone said.

From Doral the United States Southern Command has deployed helicopters, and the Marines. It says it has given out almost 100,000 pounds of supplies so far and has just short of 400 people on the ground in Haiti.

A major concern with the conditions is cholera, which is already a problem in Haiti and now even more so.

"There's already been a cholera epidemic here. That's going to get worse now because there is no clean water where the hurricane really hit hard," NBC News medical contributor Dr. John Torres said. "If they don't have clean water they have to drink that contaminated water."

There are so many relief flights that there was a holding pattern at the airport Monday. Now they have to figure out how they are going to get all of the aid effectively sent out to the areas that really need it the most.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Florida's East Coast Begins Clean Up After Hurricane Matthew]]> Tue, 11 Oct 2016 11:24:14 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/100716+hurricane+matthew+cocoa+beach.jpg

Cleanup began up and down Florida's East Coast Friday after Hurricane Matthew narrowly avoided making landfall but brought heavy wind and rain to the Sunshine State.

The wind was still howling Friday afternoon in Brevard County, where the worst of Matthew tore up roofs and brought down old trees. Those who evacuated were coming home to assess the damage and admitted they thought it would be worse.

"That's the roof we lost and it wound up across the street over here, right in front of this guy's truck," Rockledge resident John Isenhart said. "For the most part, thank God, we weren't there, I was more worried about the tree falling over and smashing it."

Many weren't there to witness the damage. They fled to places like Orlando, fearing the storm would make landfall. The Category 3 storm never made it to shore, but there's no question it left a mark.

"It tore up pretty bad and I feel these people were fortunate they were gone and not here cause they might have been cut or something by glass or something," Rockledge resident Lorenzo Bronson said.

For others, frustration began to set in as those who evacuated tried to get home. Local officials weren't quite ready to let them in Friday as Brevard County Sheriff's deputies had a road block preventing people from heading east over the bridge to Cocoa Beach.

"We waited at the first bridge, they opened it at 3 p.m., and then they stopped us here," Jeff Johnson said.

Only emergency officials and utility crews were being let over the bridge. It was unclear if the bridge was closed for inspection or if emergency personnel wanted to wait until areas like Satellite Beach, Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral were deemed safe.

"Just the leadership that's not letting us in is frustrating. And we heard power lines are down but not all of Cocoa Beach, it's just communication, what's going on," Bill Atkinson said.

There were reports of downed power lines blocking roadways, destroyed roofs, fallen trees and a few house fires.

Further south, in Stuart in Martin County, residents said they felt only mild effects from Matthew. The town was up and running again Friday and people were definitely in store for some cleanup over the weekend.

"Could've been a serious hurricane and the house was secured, dogs were all secured," Stuart resident William Ryan Heart said. "The good Lord pushed it away from us so we were lucky."

Some areas, however, did sustain a bit of damage. At one home a large tree in the backyard was uprooted and knocked down a power line, sparking a fire.

"I saw the explosion and the spark and flames from the back of the house and I came out," neighbor Floyd Kirkland said.

Kirkland said he ran across the street and knocked on his neighbor's door to alert the family. Two adults and three children were inside the home sleeping.

"He saved our lives, I mean he saved my kids, he saved all of us," homeowner Michelle Rogen said. "I'm very grateful."

Most locals have taken down a few shutters or pieces of plywood, but don't plan on removing them all. Matthew's future path and the rest of hurricane season concerns them.

More than 40,000 homes and businesses lost power in Martin County. Florida Power and Light was working to restore power in the area.

In Melbourne, locals were thrilled the city came out almost unscathed.

"I think our government did a good job of telling us what to prepare for and what could've been and I think we're lucky it didn't happen that way," resident David Boles said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Weaker Matthew Expected to Loop Back to Florida]]> Fri, 07 Oct 2016 17:37:03 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/100716+hurricane+matthew+loop+south+florida+nbc+6.jpg

Hurricane Matthew passed by South Florida Thursday as a powerful Category 4 storm and now expected to loop back to the area as an entirely different - and weaker - system.

Matthew is forecast to remain a hurricane as it moves up the East Coast Saturday and into early Sunday but will begin to weaken. It will downgrade to a tropical storm then a remnant low as it turns toward the south then southeast.

By midweek, South Florida could again see some showers and possibly thunderstorms from the remnants of Matthew.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Hurricane Matthew Relief Efforts]]> Fri, 07 Oct 2016 15:37:15 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/100716+hurricane+relief.jpg

NBC 6’s complete coverage of Hurricane Matthew has been keeping our viewers informed every step of the way and, as our South Florida community has been fortunate with minimal impact, other communities in the Caribbean and here in the US are feeling the devastating effects of a major hurricane.

Here are some organizations you can support to help victims of Hurricane Matthew:

Volunteer Florida has established a volunteer registration link for those interested in assisting Floridians after Hurricane Matthew. Register here to volunteer.

Food for the Poor is asking for canned food, canned milk, canned meat and money. You can go to the Food for the Poor website and make a donation and they will buy and ship supplies there.

Catholic Charities is also accepting donations through their website. On the donations page, in the "You are supporting" dropdown menu, you can select "Disaster Relief – Hurricane Matthew"

International Red Cross: Over 3,000 volunteers and staff of the Red Cross in Haiti have been mobilized to aid communities in the path of powerful Hurricane Matthew and are prepared to deliver first aid and other medical care, clean water and sanitation and shelter assistance. Donate here.

The American Red Cross was getting ready for a massive multi-state response to the hurricane. More than 500 disaster workers and 90 response vehicles are standing by in Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, the Red Cross said. Donate here or donate $10 by texting 90999.

UNICEF: The United Nation's Children's Fund is dedicated to helping children. Donate here to support its Matthew relief efforts.

Save the Children is helping children and families with emergency assistance. Donate here.

CARE plans to provide clean drinking water, food assistance and emergency supplies such as tarps for shelter, blankets and hygiene kits, according to a press release. Donate here.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Services, Businesses Begin to Reopen After Matthew Passes]]> Fri, 07 Oct 2016 21:21:01 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-187784209.jpg

With Hurricane Matthew no longer a threat to the area, businesses and public services were among those who were reopening on Friday.

In Miami-Dade County, police and fire rescue services resumed their normal schedule as will transit operations for both Metrorail and the Metromover. Shelters began closing in the morning, while drawbridges have reopened for boat traffic.

In Broward County, transit services will resume using a Sunday schedule.

Miami International Airport officials said they would start accepting arrivals Friday morning, with the first departures taking place in the early afternoon. Over 300 flights, however, have been cancelled. Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport reopened at 11 a.m.

Both Aventura Mall and Dolphin Mall opened at their regularly scheduled time Friday of 10 a.m.

A number of power outages remained Friday but Florida Power and Light said crews were working around the clock to restore service. Only about 400 customers remained without service in Miami-Dade and Broward as of 9 p.m.

Everyone is encouraged to call in advance to confirm if the business or public service you are attempting to use or attend will be open.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tracking Hurricane Matthew - 11 AM October 7th]]> Fri, 07 Oct 2016 12:58:13 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000025888002_1200x675_781285955695.jpg NBC 6's Adam Berg has the latest update on Hurricane Matthew has it continues its march up the Florida coast.]]>