Author Archive: Charlie Barnett

Toxic Red Tide Leaves Coastal Beaches Littered with Sea Life

Palm Beach County beach was littered with dozens of dead fish this week as the toxic red tide spread along the Atlantic Coast of Florida. Algae causing the red tide, have been spotted along some of the most densely populated parts of the east coast, according to Florida’s Wildlife and Fish Conservation Commission officials. In more than decade blooms were confirmed in St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach marking the first sign of the red tide.

After Hour of Coughing University of Miami’s Neurology Researcher Fled the Beach

Tests are performed by wildlife officials in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, and the results are expected on Wednesday for Broward. Currently, no mention has been made regarding online updates and Susan Neel, the FWC spokeswoman mentioned that further results could be expected by Friday. Since last weekend several of the beachgoers have complained about itchy eyes, coughing and other symptoms related to red tide. After an hour of runny noses and coughing on Saturday, the University of Miami’s neurology researcher, Gerare Rimesso and his family fled the beach at Fort Lauderdale.

County Beaches Closed Since the Weekend

Since the weekend the county beaches have been closed, state biologists were sent to investigate the kills, after dead fish washed ashore in Palm Beach County at the MacArthur State Park and red tide were detected. The blooms were first spotted off Sarasota in the Gulf of Mexico, almost a year ago, it then got swept into the loop current of the Gulf connected to the current in Florida that flows north along the Atlantic coast. The Atmospheric Administration and National Oceanographic satellites detected evidence in August and September when algae were spotted west of the Marquesas Island.

The Algae that Causes the Red Tide Lives off the Gulf Coast & Therefore the Atlantic Coast Rarely Sees it. Over the fall and summer blooms withered the gulf shores, beaches were shut down and it cripples businesses, and fish kills are constantly reported between Collier and Pinellas counties. Since 1994 the blooms do appear in the gulf between fall and spring every year, this year the bloom also appeared off the Panhandle a month ago.

Coastal Pollution Feeds Blooms and Increase Problem

The blooms from offshore, but scientists revealed this week that the pollution feeds them and make it worse. This year’s bloom was encouraged by the blue-green algae that are massive on Lake Okeechobee. Palm Beach lifeguards informed beachgoers on Saturday that beaches were closed due to the number of people needing medical attention. Many asked one question and that is how long the situation would last, experts say it depends and at the time the red tides can last for weeks, it depends on nature, the wind and the sunlight it could also last a year. According to Florida’s Wildlife and Fish Research Institution, only eight blooms occurred since the early 1950’s and the last one was more than a decade ago.

Most Destructive and Powerful Hurricanes in the History of Florida

Mostly known for its breath-taking views and sandy beaches, Florida is also the place of deadly hurricanes. It has been hit by hurricanes more often than any of the other states. There also has been more damage and more loss of life collectively, in Florida than in other states according to Dan Kottlowski, the meteorologist at AccuWeather.

Hurricanes caused damage and casualties that displaced hundreds of people from their homes, and the damages can add up to billions of dollars. The most powerful or worst hurricanes to date include the hurricane Andrew, Miami, Okeechobee and the Labour Day Hurricane.

Labour Day Hurricane

The Labour Day Hurricane took place in 1935 and is the strongest hurricane to cause landfall in terms of wind and pressure. The maximum winds were estimated at 185 mph, and the storm surge neared 20 feet. In the Labour Day Hurricane reported fatalities totalled 409 which included 259 veterans of World War one working on the railway connecting the Keys. Every tree and building in Matecumbe Key was completely destroyed.

Hurricane Andrew

It is one of the most recent category five hurricanes in the US, during Hurricane Andrew the winds neared 165 mph in August 1992. More than 25,524 houses in Florida were destroyed not including damaged houses totalling 101,241. During Hurricane Andrew, 99.2% of mobile homes in Homestead were completely destroyed, and the storm tide neared 17 feet at the headquarters of the Burger King. Damaged estimated due to the hurricane was estimated at $25 billion measure to the value of the USD in 1992 in Florida only.

Miami Hurricane

Miami Hurricane took place in 1926 and was one of the most intense cyclists that completely devasted Miami. It tracked from the north to the south of Florida and caused destruction and death. In damages, it caused more than $100.

Hurricane Okeechobee

Hurricane Okeechobee was one of the deadliest, it took place in 1928 and was reported as the most devastating to life near West Palm Beach. The category four hurricane was the 7th strongest and ranked as the worst disaster when it comes to the loss of life. In Florida, there were 2,500 fatalities of which were drowning in Lake Okeechobee. More than 611 fatalities were noted for Belle Glade, and the damage it caused reached $196 billion which was an early start to the great depression.

Hurricane Irma

The powerful hurricane Irma is the most recent and winds of up to 130 mph were sustained which makes hurricane Irma a category 4. During the hurricane, several people suffered power outages caused by the winds. The storm combined with the tide in Southwest Florida and power outages continued for quite some time in Florida. Many left their homes in search of safety for their families, and hundreds of dead fish were found on Interstate 40. It is important for Florida residents to know when to evacuate, the evacuation routes and remain up to date with all events in their area.

Hurricane Florence Evacuees Accommodated by Opening of Hotel Rooms

As hurricane Florence nearer homes near North Carolina, Wilmington many had to pack their cars and head toward Florida’s Walt Disney World. This was also the case for Allison Jordan and her husband who headed toward Florida with two teenage children when they made the decision to go west towards Disney World others decided to go west, and it was chaos, it was weird for Florida hurricanes. Jordan is the director of a preschool in Burgaw, North Carolina.

Florida Accommodated Passenger on Diverted Cruise Ships

Accustomed to evacuating in several other parts of the state, residents of Florida were this week in the unusual position when fleeing north. This was the only option for many when the hurricanes started to threaten their homes. It also included accommodating people on re-routed cruise ships and many seeking hotel rooms was hoping to escape the rage of Hurricane Florence, which arrived in North Carolina on Friday morning.

Carolina Residents Escaped to Florida

By Thursday, state emergency officials revealed that had no idea of how many Carolina residents escaped to Florida and they also had no way in tracking the Carolinians. Numerous hotels in Florida offered special discounts to people fleeing from South Carolina as well as other hurricane evacuees, while Florida opened its ports to cruise ships who needed to make unexpected ports of call. Florida’s Space Coast along with Port Canaveral had visits from two unexpected ships once Hurricane Florence made it completely impossible for them to stop in Bermuda.

Both Norwegian and Royal Caribbean Cruises Stopped in Florida

On Tuesday it was the Norwegian Escape, New York-based cruise that stopped at the port with 4,200 passengers, on Wednesday it was the Baltimore based Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas with passengers totalling 2,000 that was diverted to Port Canaveral and then set to depart again on Friday. The passengers on both the ships booked excursions to the theme parks based in Orlando, the Kennedy Space Centre and the local Beaches.

A reversal in Fortunes in a State Ravaged by Hurricane Irma & Threatened by Hurricane Matthew

Steep discounts were offered by Harris Rosen a Hotelier at all nine of his hotels in the area to accommodate the evacuees or Hurricane Florence. Depending on the hotel the prices per night ranged from $59 up to $79, and pets were welcomed. Rosen is accustomed to offering discounts for the past decades to Floridians escaping the coast and says he get more kisses and hugs during the hurricane season. Jordon, on the other hand, said via phone that it was strange going from a hurricane area to the most magnificent place on earth when she had no idea what Hurricane Florence had in store. She, her husband and two children are making the best of the situation, and the family is trying to enjoy the magic of Disney World even when they not sure when they would be able to go back home, and even while they are in a magical place, their hearts are at their home in North Carolina.

Three tropical storms continue to increase in intensity in the Atlantic

The season for tropical storms off the Florida coast has begun, and with it, three storms are showing increasing activity. The three storms have been named Tropical Storm Isaac, Tropical Storm Florence and Tropical Storm Helene.

It is expected that Tropical Storm Isaac will continue to grow in size and intensity in the eastern part of the Atlantic. It is currently about 1500 miles east of the Windward Islands with winds reported at 50 mph. While it is a bit early to predict if Isaac will threaten Florida, it is expected to be upgraded to a hurricane by next week.

Last night also saw an advisory go into effect for Tropical Storm Florence. This weakens as a result of wind shear, but experts believe it will turn into a hurricane over the course of the night. Florence is producing 70 mph winds and is travelling at 6 mph 800 miles southeast of Bermuda.

By next week, it is expected that the storm will grow into a major hurricane. While Florence is not anticipated to threaten South Florida, it is being advised that those in the Carolinas take precautions as winds could potentially reach 145 mph

Tropical Storm Helene is another storm being closely monitored as it is moving towards the Cabo Verde Islands and is expected to reach the islands by Sunday. She is increasing in intensity and moving west at about 13 mph with winds hitting 60mph. At the time of this report, the storm was 150 miles away from the islands and was showing some signs of that is might weaken as a result of wind shear as it travels west.

It is advised that Floridian’s monitor the storm’s activity and take appropriate precautions. While none are a threat at the moment, the season dictates that those in the outlying areas prepare in advance so as to avoid being caught unprepared.

Replica of Florida’s Election System Hacked by Eleven-Year-Old in 10 Minutes

Just as the current Trump administration warns that Russia is busy working on a system to underline the upcoming midterm election security, the results came in that an eleven-year-old took 10 minutes to hack a replica of Florida’s election system.

The general and primary election dates are known to most residents of Florida, the general election takes place in November of every year with an even number, while the primary election is held before the general election. The primary election takes place ten weeks before with the purpose being to leave enough days for nominating the nominees to be voted for in the upcoming general election to fill positions in the district, county, state and national office. In 2018 the primary election was scheduled to take place on the 28th of August followed by the general election on the 6th of November. The deadline for registering for the general election is 9th October 2018.

Testing the Election System for Upcoming US Midterm Elections

To ensure any and every system is hack-free several tests need to be performed, although it is worrisome when the system is hackable by children and not even hard-core hackers. The news shook the residents of Florida and the US when reports announced that the reproduction of the election system of Florida’s was hacked into by an 11-year-old within just 10 minutes.

Yet that is not the worst news, since the 11-year-old was not the only youngster that managed it, he was only the fastest of thirty-five children who were all able to hack into the replicas of the Florida’s election system websites during the Def Con security convention lasting spanning over three days, that offered replica sites of six swing states. The convention raises concern about the election system security of America, while there are only months left before the midterms.

The shocking results of these tests and efforts regarding the US election infrastructure are passed onto the National Association of Secretaries of state and the states, which are the officials responsible for confirming and tallying the vote totals, which all agreed that they welcome the efforts in testing the system.

National Association of Secretaries of State Says Actual System Use Additional Protection

Even though the tests and results were welcomed, the group responsible for tallying the vote totals did say that the actual election system that is used by the state have additional protection. These officials also shared that it would be extremely challenging to replicate the systems used by the states as these use custom-built databases and unique networks with the most updated security protocols.

President Donald Trump’s national security force has already warned that pervasive efforts had been launched by Russia to interfere with the upcoming 2018 elections in America. The results of young children hacking into the replica of the election system highlight the potential of security lapses, which is a major concern to all voters in America, worried that the voters roll in the upcoming midterm election could be tampered with.