Millions of Floridians are still without power after Hurricane Irma turned off the lights. Now, many are keeping a leery watch on Hurricane Jose.
The vast majority of homes in the Florida Keys were impacted with damage or destroyed beyond repair from Hurricane Irma’s whipping winds and forceful flooding. Residents began returning to their properties today to access the destruction and make plans for their future on or off of Florida’s southernmost island chain.
FEMA estimates that about 25% of the Keys’ homes were destroyed, and another two-thirds of homes were damaged.
Elsewhere in the state, damage was more isolated. Flooding due to storm surge shocked areas in northern and central Florida Monday. In the tourist capital of the U.S., Disney reopened with some restrictions on Tuesday.
South Florida transportation was a hot topic, with buses getting a slow return and trains stalled because of flooding, debris or damage. Schools throughout most of south Florida remain closed, though some have intentions to re-open before week’s end.
Gas is on the top of the list for motorists needing to refuel. Stations are beginning to get recharged as more fuel deliveries are expedited thanks to amended regulations. Crowd-sourced apps have literally driven traffic to stations receiving a replenishing.
So the last thing Florida and its battered shores needs is another major weather concern, right? Well, then there’s Jose, the colorful storm system we tried to ignore while tracking the turbulent track of Irma.
At the latest update from the National Hurricane Center, Jose was a mild category 1 storm, with its 75 MPH sustained winds barely qualifying for the hurricane status. Jose, like most hurricanes, is very unpredictable. This storm, which could land on the tropical storm list soon, is meandering closer to the Bermuda Triangle, about 495 miles from the Southeastern Bahamas.
As timid as it may seem, do not count Jose out completely. Although the system has begun to move East, it is expected that it will loop back around and again head West, then North. The storm could pick up some steam, or it could fizzle apart.
If the forecasters are correct, Jose will head away from the coast by Sunday, however; millions of Floridians are too freshly acquainted with Irma’s impact to overlook any possibilities of another storm.
We’ll continue to update information on Hurricane Jose.