December 6, 2022

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/28/2022

Hurricane Ian, now a Category 4, will hit Florida today

Hurricane Ian is approaching Florida with landfall expected later today. The latest forecast track has the Category 4 storm coming ashore between Fort Myers and Sarasota County early this afternoon. Tampa Bay remains under threat of hurricane force winds and heavy rain likely to cause flash flooding and power outages. As of the latest update from the National Hurricane Center, Ian has top winds of 155 mph — only 2 mph short of a Category 5 — and is pushing a storm surge that could cause damage along the Gulf Coast from Bonita Beach to the Tampa Bay region. More from the Tampa Bay Times andd the News Service of Florida.

As Hurricane Ian approaches, your business needs to be ready

With Hurricane Ian heading directly for the Gulf Coast, business owners are being urged to prepare for both catastrophic damage and to maintain continuity in the days, or possibly weeks, after the storm has moved on. Being prepared for a storm of Ian’s magnitude is more than just securing a shop and boarding up windows, though. A business owner needs to have a continuity plan in place, secure important documents and make sure insurance documents are handy. [Source: Business Observer]

Fight swirls over ‘Rebuild Florida' name

In 2018, after Hurricane Irma left a massive swath of damage and shortly before Hurricane Michael pounded the Panhandle, state officials launched a program called “Rebuild Florida” to help repair homes and bolster communities. But four years later, a Central Florida contractor, Rebuild Florida LLC, has filed a lawsuit accusing the state of infringing on its trademark and asking a judge to stop the state Department of Economic Opportunity from continuing to use the Rebuild Florida name. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Hurricane Ian could smash Florida’s fragile property insurance market

A massive, deadly hurricane like Ian could topple the state’s already unstable property insurance market, some lawmakers and industry experts said Tuesday, as the storm took aim at Florida. “If insurance companies needed a year without a storm, this would be it,” said state Sen. Jeff Brandes, a Pinellas County Republican and extremely loud critic of the Legislature’s failure to fix a major problem it’s known about for years. Even before the impending storm, industry analysts were predicting the demise of the state’s insurance industry. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Artemis I leaves launch pad ahead of Hurricane Ian

The 5.75 million-pound, 322-foot-tall combination of Space Launch System rocket, mobile launcher and Orion spacecraft endured yet another 4-mile roll atop NASA’s crawler-transporter 2 back to the Vehicle Assembly Building. The much-delayed first mission in the Artemis program using the $4.1 billion rocket and spacecraft will have to wait some more as Hurricane Ian entered the Gulf of Mexico threatening to strike Florida’s Gulf Coast as a major hurricane. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]


› Tampa International Airport braces for impact — and hopes for a speedy reopening
The morning after Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tampa International Airport will cease commercial flights at 5 p.m. Tuesday due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Ian, the airport’s CEO, Joe Lopano, addressed reporters from the soon-to-be-shuttered main terminal. “As a critical infrastructure for the state, we are doing our best to stay open as long as possible to support the citizens of the Tampa Bay region,” he said.

› End of the road for some South Beach sidewalk cafes? Judge sides with city in lawsuit
Miami Beach can implement a new program to regulate sidewalk cafes, a judge has ruled, giving the city new leverage over some restaurants it has had issues with on Ocean Drive, Lincoln Road and Española Way. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Alan Fine sided with the city last week by denying the businesses’ requests to halt the Oct. 1 implementation of a contract-based program for sidewalk cafes, which replaced a permit-based approach that a different judge struck down in December.

› Williams-Sonoma Inc. plans Northwest Jacksonville distribution center
San Francisco-based Williams-Sonoma Inc., the lifestyle cookware and home furnishings brand with 250 stores worldwide and an e-commerce site, intends to open a warehouse in Northwest Jacksonville at a build-out cost of $1.13 million. The city is reviewing a permit for FCL Builders of Itasca, Illinois, to renovate a 168,000-square-foot distribution center at 4259 Perimeter Industrial Parkway W. in the Perimeter West Industrial Park for Williams-Sonoma.

› Legoland: It’s a monster party this Halloween
Halloween season has settled in at Legoland Florida. Its Brick-or-Treat event, much like the theme park itself, is geared to the 2-to-12-year-old crowd, but there’s ample lighthearted spooky stuff to entertain the adult crowd, too, including shows, Lego group builds, specialty foods and distinctive character interactions. There’s an emphasis on Lego’s monster characters this year, a new chapter. if you will. of Brick-or-Treat, said Kelly Hornick, head of Legoland Florida marketing and communications.

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In the parking lot of an abandoned grocery store, a food drive meets needs

Over the course of the morning, volunteers will hand out boxes full of produce and pantry items. More than 300 people will walk — or drive — away with cartons of eggs and gallons of milk, bread and pastries and cereal. They’ll leave with bags of bananas, and apples and meats that they’ll feed to their families.

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