Florida

US Supreme Court To Hear Tri-State Water Wars Case

Oct 10, 2017
J. David Ake / AP Photo/File

The Supreme Court says it will hear a decades-long dispute between Florida and Georgia over water rights.

The justices on Tuesday issued a brief order in a lawsuit that Florida filed at the high court challenging water use by its neighbor.

The court set not set a date for arguments in the case.

A lawyer appointed by the court to oversee the suit recommended that the justices side with Georgia. Florida has objected to the lawyer's recommendation.

It looks like a fairy tale palace.

With its pink stucco walls and massive coral stone terraces, the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is a beloved South Florida landmark that has drawn Miamians for 60 years. But since getting blasted by Hurricane Irma, the estate more resembles the part in the fairy tale after an evil spell is cast, and the forest overgrows the castle.

When the worst of Irma's fury had passed, Gene McAvoy hit the road to inspect citrus groves and vegetable fields. McAvoy is a specialist on vegetable farming at the University of Florida's extension office in the town of LaBelle, in the middle of one of the country's biggest concentrations of vegetable and citrus farms.

It took a direct hit from the storm. "The eyewall came right over our main production area," McAvoy says.

Roughly half of Florida's homes and businesses remained without electricity on Tuesday, two days after Hurricane Irma plowed through the state. A lot of the business recovery efforts there will depend on how quickly power can be restored.

On her way to work Tuesday morning, Carol McDaniel, vice president of human resources for the Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, made her way through darkened neighborhoods.

After Irma, Florida's Evacuees Contemplate Return Trip

Sep 12, 2017
Bill Barrow / AP Photo

Thanks to reconnaissance by a neighbor who stayed behind, Pam Szymanksi knows Hurricane Irma blew out the living room window of her southwest Florida home, but she isn't sure when she'll get to see the damage for herself.

"All I know is we have to check out of here tomorrow, because they're booked," she said Monday, sitting in the lobby of a downtown Atlanta hotel where she arrived with her mother, two children and two dogs. A hotel reservation in Valdosta, Georgia, is next, Szymanksi said, but that's still 350 miles from their home in Fort Myers.

Wildfire On US Refuge Doubles In Size In Less Than A Week

Apr 27, 2017
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

A wildfire on public lands near the Georgia-Florida state line has blackened 115 square miles after doubling in size within a few days, officials said Wednesday.

Sustained winds up to 8 mph were expected to keep pushing flames Thursday into areas of swamp parched by drought inside the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, where a lightning strike sparked the blaze April 6.

Growing Wildfire In Okefenokee Refuge Exceeds 90 Sq. Miles

Apr 26, 2017
OKEFENOKEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

Officials say a wildfire on public lands near the Georgia-Florida state line has burned more than 90 square miles (233 sq. kilometers) as winds spread the flames through dry areas of the Okefenokee Swamp.

A news release by the firefighting command team said the overall area of the blaze grew more than 22 percent between Monday and Tuesday. So far, nearly all of the burned acreage has been confined to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Georgia and the neighboring Osceola National Forest and John M. Bethea State Forest in Florida.

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

An immense wildfire continues to burn across 19,000 acres on the Georgia-Florida state line. The West Mims Fire was ignited by a lightning strike on April 6, and firefighters from Georgia and Florida have been working to contain it since.

Big Hail, Heavy Rains Pelt Deep South As Storms Move In

Apr 5, 2017
Chris Carlson / AP Photo

Big hail and heavy rains pelted the Deep South early Wednesday, and schools and churches shut down as severe storms that forecasters said could spawn powerful tornadoes moved across the region.

Alabama's governor declared a state of emergency because of the threat, resulting in multiple school closings, and schools in South Carolina planned to dismiss classes early.

Wikimedia Commons

A decades-old battle over Georgia water will be sorted out in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Supreme Court will decide who has rights to supply and use water in a fight between Georgia and Florida. The decision will have a major effect on agriculture in those states. GPB's Sam Whitehead reports on a farmer in Southwest Georgia who has had to do some creative thinking about water conservation.

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