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Alexandra Figares

Irma’s bands activate tornado watches in South Florida

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for South Florida, effective immediately until midnight. Broward, Glades, Miami-Dade, Charlotte, Hendry, Monroe, Collier, Lee and Palm Beach counties fall under the watch. As Hurricane Irma inches toward the Florida Keys, South Florida will begin to feel the effects of the storm through rain bands. According to the NWS, Irma is moving west at 9 mph, sustaining maximum winds of 125 mph, decreasing its strength to a Category 3 storm. Nevertheless, Irma still has the potential to regain strength as it pummels through the Keys, and could return as category...

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FGCU cancels classes through Wednesday as Florida prepares for Irma’s arrival

FGCU will remain closed to faculty and students until at least Wednesday, Sept. 13, university spokeswoman Susan Evans said in an email Saturday morning. The university plans to open on Thursday, however, that decision is subject to change. The State turned Alico Arena into a public shelter around 10 a.m. Residential students will be taken to Eagle Hall in Sovi for shelter. Florida Governor Rick Scott ordered all public schools, state colleges and state universities to close Friday through Monday. Scott said in a statement Thursday: “Today, I am directing the closure of all public schools, state colleges, state...

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Fact or fiction? 7 things you should know about Hurricane Irma

Remember the story about aliens landing during Hurricane Matthew, causing the planets to realign and puppies to explode? We don’t either, because it didn’t happen. But these are the kinds of hoaxes that tend to go viral during natural disasters. With Irma threatening landfall over Florida this weekend, the amount of information strewn across the internet is enough to make any brain melt. While some stories track Irma’s path and monitor storm damages, other stories might claim a shark is swimming on the highway. Here’s a compilation of myths – and facts – about Irma that have been circulating...

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FGCU prepares Alico Arena for shelter, Lee County orders evacuations

Lee County has ordered mandatory evacuations to areas west of U.S. 41 as Hurricane Irma sets her eye on Southwest Florida. Irma is estimated to hit South Florida on Sunday morning as a major Category 4 hurricane. The Florida Keys are anticipated to bear the brunt end of the storm’s forces, as Irma is projected to land as a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds up to 155 mph.  South Florida will also experience Irma at her most powerful. All of Southwest Florida is currently under a hurricane warning. According to the National Hurricane Center, South Florida will begin...

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Governor Rick Scott closes public schools in preparation for Hurricane Irma

Classes at FGCU have been canceled through Monday, Sept. 11., following Hurricane Irma’s imminent threat to South Florida. Florida Governor Rick Scott ordered all public schools, state colleges and state universities to close Friday through Monday. Scott said in a statement Thursday: “Today, I am directing the closure of all public schools, state colleges, state universities and state offices for their normal activities effective Friday through Monday, to ensure we have every space available for sheltering and staging. Floridians are facing a life-threatening storm in Hurricane Irma, and every family must prepare to evacuate. Our state’s public schools serve...

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FGCU President Mike Martin responds to DACA decision

President Mike Martin expressed his concern with the overturning of DACA in an email sent out to FGCU students on Wednesday, Sept. 6. President Martin’s response comes shortly after President Donald Trump’s decision to overturn DACA, an immigration policy set forth by President Barack Obama. “At FGCU, we join colleagues from across the country in expressing our disappointment in the decision to ‘phase out’ the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA),” Martin said. “We urge Congress to act with dispatch to make DACA fully legal and fully implementable. We believe those affected by DACA, some of our students among...

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Lee County issues mandatory evacuations in preparation for Hurricane Irma’s arrival

Hurricane Irma’s impending threat has called for a mandatory evacuation order that will take effect Friday for barrier islands in Lee County. The order requires those residing in Bonita Beach, Pine Island, Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Captiva to evacuate. Residents in mobile homes are also encouraged to evacuate. Tolls have been waved for all bridges in Lee County to facilitate the evacuation process. According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Irma is about 760 miles east-southeast of Miami, maintaining its Category 5 status with sustained winds of 175 miles per hour. In a 5 p.m. update from the...

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Floridians brace themselves as Hurricane Irma inches toward south Florida

As Hurricane Irma pummels north of Puerto Rico, Floridians brace themselves for the possible landfall of Irma – one of the most powerful hurricanes recorded in the Atlantic. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as of 11 p.m. Wednesday, Irma is moving west-northwest at 16 miles per hour with sustained winds of 185 mph, maintaining its Category 5 status. Haiti, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, the Northern Leeward Islands and the northern coast of the Dominican Republic are under a hurricane warning according to the NOAA, while parts of Cuba and the northern Bahamas are under a...

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Hurricane Irma ‘hits the gas’

While Hurricane Irma hasn’t officially landed in Florida just yet, her unpredictability generates concern and the fuel scarcity reflects it. As Hurricane Irma inches toward Florida, residents prepare for the worst by stocking up on supplies and heeding evacuation orders. With evacuation orders in effect in Monroe County and Miami-Dade Counties, mass evacuations are expected to lead to gridlock for miles. According to the Tampa Bay Times, drivers took an estimated one hour to get from Interstate 275 in Tampa to Interstate 4. The mass exodus has triggered fuel shortages across the state, and heavy traffic has called for...

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FGCU cancels classes in preparation for Hurricane Irma

Classes, events and operations are canceled at FGCU for Thursday, Sept. 7 and Friday, Sept. 8, in preparation for Hurricane Irma. In an email sent out to students on Wednesday, Sept. 6, FGCU Vice President Susan Evans said the decision was made during an FGCU Emergency Advisory Council meeting called by President Mike Martin and FGCU Police Chief Steven Moore. “We recognize that some students, faculty and staff who evacuated will be in other parts of the state and country,” Evans said in the email. “And as always (we) encourage you to make decisions based on personal safety that...

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