The last time Gov. Rick Scott warned Floridians about the potential threat of the mosquito-borne virus was in July, when he urged residents to still be vigilant against bug bites and standing water. At the time, doctors and researchers were bracing for what was supposed to be another active summer season for the virus. Some expected it to be even worse than last year, when 1,100 travel-related cases were reported statewide and Zika spread into pockets of South Florida. ...
The Make-A-Wish Foundation is on the lookout for sick children in the Tampa Bay area who need a once-in-a-lifetime pick-me-up.
The national nonprofit's Southern Florida chapter has grown geographically and is now responsible for Tampa Bay and Sarasota as well as its existing coverage areas in Naples, Fort Myers and the region spanning from Palm Beach to Miami.
That's good news for Tampa Bay. The Make-A-Wish Southern Florida chapter is one of the most active chapters in the country for the organization, which grants "wishes" to children with critical illnesses and their families. The chapter, founded in 1983, has granted 11,000 wishes to children since it started and is on track to grant 600 or more wishes next year with its expanded reach, said chief operating officer Richard Kelly. That's nearly one wish every 16 hours, he said. ...
TAMPA — Dozens of workers in hard hats and boots were busy at work at the corner of South Meridian Avenue and Channelside Drive Wednesday morning, signaling the start of construction on the University of South Florida's new Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute.
USF medical students, staff, donors and board members joined Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and a slew of local politicians and real estate developers to celebrate what will be the first part of Water Street Tampa, a $3 billion redevelopment project expected to span 50-plus acres in downtown Tampa. USF President Judy Genshaft said the medical school and cardiovascular institute will be a key anchor for the district....
More than a week after Hurricane Irma knocked out power to millions of Floridians, about 300,000 customers across the state were still in the dark Monday evening.
But most in the Tampa Bay area could flick their lights on.
Duke Energy reported that more than 99 percent of outages were restored in a dozen counties across the state, including in Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough. The utility said about 2,549 customers in Pinellas and 280 customers in Pasco — where Duke is the largest provider of electricity — remained without power Monday, though some outages were unrelated to Irma....
The Winn-Dixie grocery store on Big Pine Key opened Thursday after Hurricane Irma, thanks to a few local residents and one kind store manager.
Kenny Lowe, the store manager of the Winn-Dixie grocery store on Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys, hunkered down inside the grocery store during the wrath of Hurricane Irma. While preparing the store for the big storm, he connected with a 19 local customers who needed shelter, so he opened the doors to the grocery store to let them in. ...
When the big green semi-trailers with the Publix logo were driving into downtown St. Petersburg Tuesday morning, local residents breathed a collective sigh of relief.
They might not have had power in their homes, but at least the Publix on the corner was opening soon.
Retailers across Florida struggled to keep stores supplied before and after Hurricane Irma. The demand from everything to nonperishable food to toilet paper to bottled water and bags of ice has been fierce and overwhelming, store officials says. ...
As the fourth day after Hurricane Irma stretched on, a fifth of the state remained without lights or air conditioning as energy companies worked to restore one of the largest power outages in the country's history.
As of 9 p.m. Thursday, about 2.1 million customers still didn't have power — down from the peak 6.7 million with outages reported across the state Monday afternoon. It took utility companies working round the clock since Monday with thousands of out-of-state workers to restore power to 4.4 million Florida customers rocked by Irma's strong winds. ...
Half of Irma's power outages restored, but lights still out for 3.3 million Florida homes, businesses09/13/17Energy
The lights are back for more than half of those who lost power during Hurricane Irma's trek through Florida.
But that's little consolation for the third of the state that remained without air conditioning or electricity well into the third day after the storm.
Scrambling utility workers restored power for more than 2 million Florida customers on Tuesday, but that left nearly 5 million households still in the dark after Hurricane Irma, including more than 834,000 in Tampa Bay.
And for some of them, relief from the record-setting statewide outage may not come until this weekend.
As of 6 p.m., about half of the Sunshine State was waiting for the lights to go back on. That's down from Monday night when 62 percent of the state's 10.5 million households were without power....
Much of Florida will be waking up to a second day in the dark Tuesday after Hurricane Irma's devastating slash through the state.
More than 13 million Floridians — 62 percent of the state — remained without power as of late Monday, state officials said. In Tampa Bay, some of the county numbers were even more jarring: 78 percent of Pinellas households were affected; 71 percent of Pasco; 62 percent of Hernando; 61 percent of Polk and 42 percent of Hillsborough....
As Tampa Bay and the rest of Florida try to get back to normal in the wake of Hurricane Irma, drivers are being warned to use gas sparingly.
The state and the region saw widespread gasoline outages during the week leading up to the storm. Gov. Rick Scott ordered Florida Highway Patrol escorts for fuel supplies to be shuttled to gas stations. Now in the wake of Irma, suppliers are trying to keep gas stations full of fuel, but motorists should be prepared for scarce supply as Florida evacuees return to their homes in large numbers. Gas stations not located along major highways should have an easier time keeping supplies, according to a press release from AAA, The Auto Group, which tracks gas prices and supplies. ...
Now that Hurricane Irma has barreled past Florida, many Tampa Bay area businesses are assessing damages and preparing to reopen.
Some companies are calling workers back in Tuesday, but check first before heading to a specific retailer or service. Several bank websites, for instance, said they remained closed but as of Monday afternoon had not cited a re-opening date.
After the storm passes, the real work begins. Cleaning up. Taking stock. Rebuilding. Here's a look at some questions you may have.
When can I go home?
Pinellas County Government spokesman Josh Boatwright said areas will likely open in phases.
"Getting to your neighborhood safely is going to be one of the first priority for county and emergency crews," he said. "Our general advice right now is to kind of listen to emergency management and follow re-entry orders and reclosure advice."...
Westbound lanes on Courtney Campbell, Gandy Bridge close as Hurricane Irma inches closer to Tampa Bay09/10/17Hurricanes
Westbound lanes on the Courtney Campbell Causeway and Gandy Bridge across Pinellas County have closed as Hurricane Irma inches closer to Tampa Bay.
The Howard Frankland Bridge remains open.
The Sunshine Skyway closed on Saturday, when sustained winds reached 40 mph in advance of Hurricane Irma. The Florida Highway Patrol made the decision after receiving several wind reports from the Department of Transportation. All listed bridges will be closed until at least the storm passes. ...
Power out? Rest assured, Tampa Bay. The countywide and citywide curfews do not apply to Duke Energy and TECO technicians.
Tampa Electric is reporting nearly 15,000 people in Hillsborough County are without power as of early Sunday evening. TECO technicians have halted work around Tampa Bay because of high winds, a 5 p.m. advisory says.
"Once the storm has passed and it is safe, a full assessment of the damage will begin and restoration will resume," the advisory read....