Things That Matter

Hurricane Irma Has Devastated The Caribbean And Is Heading Straight For Florida

It’s been a week since Hurricane Harvey made landfall and began pummeling southeastern Texas. Now, Hurricane Irma has devastated the Caribbean islands and it making a beeline for Florida. The Category 5 storm has claimed at least 12 lives so far. As the storm heads west, evacuations have been put into effect in south Florida to move residents further north, away from the path of devastation. Here’s what’s happened so far.

Hurricane Irma has cut a path of devastation through the Caribbean killing 12 people so far.

Irma has destroyed more than 90 percent of homes in the Caribbean country of Barbuda. Businesses, banks, public institutions, schools, and emergency services have been shut down on the various islands impacted by the storm and residents were urged to take shelter.

Puerto Rico survived the storm as Hurricane Irma narrowly missed hitting the island head on. Still, power failures plague the island nation.

According to the Miami Herald, Puerto Rico, which has been suffering serious financial problems, could be without power in some areas for up to six months. The notice by public officials went out before the storm grazed the northern part of Puerto Rico. The New York Times reports that 70 percent of Puerto Rico was without power early Thursday.

Rescue and relief efforts are already underway for the islands that have been hit.

Dutch, French, British, and American personnel have been dispatched to the Caribbean islands that have been hit by the storm. Many of the Caribbean islands are territories of foreign countries, meaning that the aforementioned governments will be important players in all recovery efforts. At its peak, Hurricane Irma was delivering 185 mph winds which leveled buildings and decimated entire communities.

As the storm makes its way through the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the Bahamas, Cuba, and Florida are bracing for impact.

The storm is expected to hit the southern tip of the Bahamas and the north coast of Cuba, including the capitol city Havana. Evacuation orders have been put into effect for residents and tourists of the Florida Keys.

Survivors on the islands are sharing videos and photos of the destruction as a warning for those who are in the path of Hurricane Irma.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has suspended all tolls on Florida roadways to allow for residents to evacuate from the storm.

Florida has also partnered with Google Maps to show real-time street closures as the storm impacts the state.

Yet, for the Caribbean islands already devastated by Hurricane Irma, there is no break from wind and rain as Hurricane Jose strengthens into a Category 3 storm. It is expected to follow Hurricane Irma’s path.

Stay safe. Evacuate if officials say so. Click here to get updates on the different hurricanes currently active.


READ: Here’s The Latest On Hurricane Harvey And How Texas Is Dealing With The Damage

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Olympian Laurie Hernandez Is Back And Just Gave A Powerful “Hamilton” Inspired Performance

Fierce

Olympian Laurie Hernandez Is Back And Just Gave A Powerful “Hamilton” Inspired Performance

She’s back! After an almost five-year hiatus, Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez made her big return to competition at Saturday’s 2021 Winter Cup meet with moves to remember — set to some pretty unforgettable music, too.

The 20-year-old gold and silver medalist hit the mat with a “Hamilton”-inspired floor routine.

Laurie Hernandez just gave a stunning floor routine at the 2021 Winter Cup.

Please welcome Laurie Hernandez back to the floor! After a four-and-a-half-year hiatus, the 20-year-old Olympian showed off her strength, proving, like Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote, she is inimitable and an original.

“My first priority [at Winter Cup] is to go in and hit clean routines and show that I can be consistent,” Hernandez told NBC News. “But my next one is to enjoy myself.” It sure looks like she accomplished her goal, with nonstop energy and a smile on her face throughout her entire choreography.

As “The Room Where It Happens” played in the background, Hernandez flipped and danced her way to a 12.05 score in the event, good for an 11th-place finish in the floor exercise.

And after the USA Gymnastics Winter Cup in Indianapolis wrapped up, the noted theater fan shared her routine on Twitter and asked for feedback from “Hamilton” creator Lin Manuel Miranda and actor Leslie Odom Jr. — who sang “The Room Where It Happens” as Aaron Burr in the original cast.

This weekend’s performance was her first since stealing hearts during the 2016 Rio games.

Hernandez was part of the Team USA “Final Five” squad that won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics. But following those games she took a step back from competition, later revealing that former coach Maggie Haney was emotionally and verbally abusive toward her. The gymnast dealt with depression and eating disorders as a result.

Hernandez said it wasn’t until years later that she realized her love of the sport could be separated from the trauma she experienced. “I thought I hated gymnastics, and it wasn’t until mid-2018 I realized that it was the people that made the experience bad, not the sport itself,” she explained on Instagram.

Though she already has a gold medal from the team all-around and a silver medal from her 2016 individual performance on the beam, Hernandez is now ramping up for more challenging competitions over the next several months with the hopes of qualifying for the Olympics this summer. But with a crowded field vying against her for just four roster spots, securing a bid to Tokyo will undoubtedly be an uphill battle.

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Legendary Astrologer Walter Mercado’s Home In Puerto Rico Is For Sale And At A Discount

Entertainment

Legendary Astrologer Walter Mercado’s Home In Puerto Rico Is For Sale And At A Discount

Prediction: You will want to check out Walter Mercado’s house in Puerto Rico, and maybe even buy it up and call it home. And what perfect timing, because the stars have aligned to bring you his Puerto Rico pad at an unbeatable price.

That’s right! Walter Mercado’s home in San Juan is up for sale!

Located in an “exclusive area” of San Juan, according to the property listing, the six-bedroom, five-bathroom estate is on sale for just $395,000.

Since you likely won’t fly to San Juan right now (thanks, COVID), you can check out the flamboyant cape aficionados sweet, two story tropical oasis on Realtor.com.

The listing photos show the home’s vibrant interior, which appears in the documentary, with yellow, red and green walls. The first floor boasts a large living room, kitchen and dining room. Tile-work leads up the stairs to the second level, where there’s yet another living room, dining room and a smaller kitchen — plus two balconies.

Outside, there’s a pool area with a gazebo and a patio, as well as a covered carport for at least four cars.

The home seems to be having trouble finding a buyer.

The estate originally hit the market for $495,000 in September 2020 but with no buyer in the cards, it then had its price slashed to $430,000 in December, according to Realtor.com. It’s now asking just $395,000.

Mercado already sold his Miami property in 2017 to cover financial difficulties.

While in Miami, Mercado maintained an apartment at The Grand in downtown for many years until 2017 when he decamped part time to New York.

Many in his family had hoped to turn his Puerto Rico home into a museum to the late icon, but due to zoning issues the family decided the best step forward was to list the home for sale. Regarding Mercado’s belongings that were contained within the home (so many of which we came to see in the Netflix documentary), one of his nieces told Pledge Times, that though family members have each kept some items, many were given to the Miami History Museum, and some items will go to Mexico. However, his cape with the Puerto Rican flag is being sent to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.

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