Friday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Hurricane aftermath: 'Catastrophic' damage; economic losses
The scope of the devastation brought by Hurricane Michael came into sobering focus on Thursday as rescue workers searched a ruined landscape of splintered homes, toppled trees and upended vehicles that stretched across much of the Florida Panhandle. The seaside community of Mexico Beach, where the storm made landfall, was a flattened wreck. [Source: New York Times] In Panama City, marine worker Sandra Groom said, ‘"There are no words. Panama City is devastated." More at the Miami Herald. Also see today's video - aerial and ground footage of Mexico Beach.
Hurricane Michael, by-the-numbers
• 6 confirmed dead (ABC News reports 8 dead)
• 140,000 Floridians without power
• 1.6 million (estimated) homes and businesses without power across Southeast U.S.
• 30,000 workers mobilized from across the country to help restore power.
• 3,500 Florida National Guard troops activated
• $4.5 billion estimated damages (insured losses nationwide)
More numbers at ABC News.
Top-selling grocery store products in Florida
The U.S. Census Bureau has released an "economic census" that looks at, among other things, key grocery store products for Florida. For example,
• Florida grocery stores sell $1.1 billion of beer and ale annually, which is 3.2% of all sales. (The national average is 2.1 percent of total grocery sales.)
• Florida grocery stores sell $3.0 billion of dairy products, which is 8.6% of total sales. (The national average for dairy sales is 7.1%.)
• Florida grocery stores sell $3.6 billion of meat and poultry, or 10.1% of total sales. The national average for meat and poultry sales is 10.5%.
The report also details product lines in nearly every industry in Florida. See more at the U.S. Census.
Low unemployment, higher wages: Who will work holiday retail this year?
An improving economy is luring workers away from the retail industry at the most crucial time of the year. Orlando’s unemployment rate now stands at 3.4 percent, meaning the ranks of jobless workers is much smaller than in years past and might not be enough to supply the thousands of retail workers needed for the season. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Judge rules against extending voter registration in Florida
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle rejected a request from the Florida Democratic Party to force the state to extend a voter-registration deadline because of Hurricane Michael. Hinkle turned down the party’s request for a temporary restraining order to extend the registration deadline to Oct. 16, a week later than the original Tuesday deadline. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Florida Trend Dining Column
Florida restaurateurs revamp the concept of a ‘hotel restaurant'
The old hotel approach — one grand signature room, a three-meal family restaurant, a pool bar, sushi or Mexican for variety, and a huge staff for room service and banquets — is not enough. Today, food is the focus for all-day socializing — requiring hotels to serve up coffee bars, breweries and bakeries as they style their restaurants as kitchens and pantries. Full story here.
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› What Russia's rocket failure means for human spaceflight
On Thursday, a rare failure by a crew-carrying Soyuz rocket means the International Space Station will be shorthanded in the coming months, tended by only three crew members. At worst, NASA and its 15 international partners might need to abandon the $100 billion station temporarily if the rocket investigation takes more than a few months.
› Medical building boom continues in Ocala
Ocala medical facilities are in a building boom, with expansions and renovations at several facilities. In addition to the continued construction at Florida Hospital Ocala, West Marion Community Hospital and Ocala Regional Medical Center, work on additions is underway at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Ocala and One Health Center.
› Column: Haven’t we exceeded our maximun of 100-year storms yet?
From Frank Cerabino: I hereby request that the expression “100-year storm” be retired from public use. It clearly has lost its meaning. It’s like calling every boxing match, the “Fight of the Century.” After you do it a few times, you come to realize it’s just another two guys beating each other up.
› JLL hires Rivers to lead Florida operations
Commercial real estate brokerage firm JLL has hired Tim Rivers to lead its offices throughout the state. As Florida Market Director, Rivers will oversee JLL offices in Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami, Maitland, Coral Gables and oversee business lines ranging from tenant representation to leasing and property management to capital markets efforts.
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