Hurricane Irma And Maria’s Impacts On Florida

Hurricane Irma Mangled Florida’s State, National Parks

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Hurricane Irma mangled Florida’s national and state parks, turning places meant to be enjoyed into disaster zones that could take weeks or longer to reopen.

South Florida National Parks Trust Director Don Finefrock says the National Park Service has sent some 380 workers from 95 national parks to 15 parks in Irma’s path in Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and the Caribbean.

At Big Cypress National Preserve in eastern Collier County, crews are clearing downed trees along one road that had water too high to access for more than a week after the storm.

The Naples Daily News reports that another Southwest Florida park, the Gulf Coast Visitor Center at the Everglades City entrance to Everglades National Park, could be closed for months with the winter tourist season on its way.

In this aerial photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, repairs to a dock at Robbie’s Marina washed away by Hurricane Irma are well underway Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, in Islamorada, Fla. Workers around the 125-mile island chain are working to repair damage caused by the tropical cyclone. Photo: Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP.

Hurricane Maria Could Cause Dangerous Rip Currents In Fla.

MIAMI (AP) — Beware of rip currents when swimming in South Florida.

Though Hurricane Maria’s is well to the east, its winds are pushing water toward the east coast of Florida.

The Miami Herald reports that Larry Kelly, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Miami-Dade, said the risk is highest for Palm Beach. It’s a moderate risk for Miami-Dade and Broward.

The currents are expected to stick around at least through Thursday.

He said people who are visiting the beach shouldn’t swim or go past their knees. If people get caught in a rip current, swim parallel with the shore until they’re out of the current and can swim back to shore.