The Level, July 12, 2021: Acquainted Frustration Hits Neighborhoods Flooded By Irma and Elsa

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• Fresh Take Florida: Tropical Storm Elsa Submerged Some Of The Same Neighborhoods As Hurricane Irma Did. “At Hills of Santa Fe, a northwest Gainesville neighborhood located off of Northwest 98th Street, at least four homes sustained significant water damage. As of Thursday afternoon, three houses were half-submerged under water, and the neighborhood’s entrance was completely flooded. ‘No one’s really going to get in or out of here,’ said David Moore, who’s lived in the neighborhood since August. ‘What if an EMS team needs to get in here? Or what if someone’s pregnant and going into labor and needs to get out?’”

• WUFT News: Gainesville Doulas Deliver Babies, Comfort And — Sometimes — Final Goodbyes. “With quarantine and the COVID-19 pandemic, local doulas — trained professionals who offer support to expectant mothers — noticed an increased interest in their services. Other types of doulas, such as end-of-life doulas, also cared for patients confronting death. While there isn’t any accurate data related to doula services, a survey found that 6% of 2,400 expectant mothers used a doula in 2012 — a figure that doubled since a 2005 poll.”

• WUFT News: Buckets Of Rainfall Hit U-Pick Farms In North Central Florida. “U-picking farms in and around the Alachua and Marion County areas have experienced an inconsistent number of customers this season, with rainy weather compounding the problem as not as many blue and blackberries have people out to pick them.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: Archer closes city hall after COVID outbreak. “Archer City Hall is closed until further notice and will be sanitized after employees tested positive for COVID-19. Residents have been notified that if they visited city hall between June 21 and July 6, they should make an appointment for a COVID-19 test.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Pine Ridge residents say they can’t afford rent hikes. “About 40 Pine Ridge residents hid from the sun under a shade tent on the black tarmac outside their community center Saturday morning. In front of an audience of city officials, the Alachua County Labor Coalition and a representative from KeyCity Capital, the complex’s new owners, residents aired their grievances about a notice asking some renters to vacate their homes within 30 days for renovations.”

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• Associated Press: Search in Surfside condo collapse to take weeks, deaths reach 90. “The Miami-Dade Police Department said three young children were among those recently identified. Crews continued to search the remaining pile of rubble, peeling layer after layer of debris in search of bodies.”

• New York Times ($): ‘Lord, Hear Me’: Residents in Florida Condos Fear They Could be Next. “A deadly condo collapse in Florida has prompted a close look at other buildings. A luxury tower in Bal Harbour was deemed safe by an inspector but is spending $4.5 million in restoration.”

• Miami Herald ($): Gov. DeSantis waives deadline for property taxes from Champlain Towers condo units. “The order issued Friday afternoon doesn’t erase tax liability from the former 136-unit oceanfront condominium tower, which suffered a partial collapse June 24 followed by an emergency demolition July 4. The Republican governor said he would ask the GOP-controlled Legislature to provide tax relief when it convenes again in Tallahassee.”

• CBS Miami: Safety Concerns: Miami-Dade Courthouse Closes For Repairs, Employees Told To Work From Home. “County officials said, ‘Out of an abundance of caution in response to the tragedy in Surfside, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Miami-Dade Courts administrators asked engineers to conduct an assessment of all County buildings at the recertification point including the Dade County Courthouse.’”

• Associated Press: DeSantis parts with Trump in response to Surfside tragedy. “In the two weeks since a 12-story condo tower in this coastal community suddenly crumbled, killing at least 78 people, DeSantis has stood somberly with local officials, including Democrats, as they assessed the damage. He nodded in agreement when Biden visited and hailed their joint appearance as a sign that those with opposing political views can work together in a crisis. And he even skipped a rally in Sarasota headlined by former President Donald Trump, whose early endorsement was crucial in helping DeSantis win the governor’s race in 2018.”

• Spectrum News: Clean-up continues: So far, 24 tons of dead fish have been removed from St. Pete waterways. “Red tide hit the Bay area before Elsa did, but the storm only made matters worse. For nine straight days, waves of dead fish have washed ashore along downtown St. Petersburg and Coquina Key, plaguing residents with the intolerable stench.”

• WFLA: Manatee deaths reach all-time yearly high in Florida’s history for 2021. “More manatees have died already this year than in any other year in Florida’s recorded history, primarily from starvation due to the loss of seagrass beds.”

• Florida Politics: South Florida COVID-19 numbers surge, pushing positivity rates above 5%. “…the newest Department of Health report is the largest week-to-week rise in cases since early June. The recent increases could cause concern, particularly in Palm Beach County.”

• USA Today Network ($): ‘It’s a new day’: In the wake of Floyd killing, Florida looks to change police culture. “Backed by Florida’s ruling Republicans, who more frequently choose tough-on-crime tactics over reform, the overhaul may actually get buy-in from rank-and-file police — critical to make any revisions work, experts say.”

• Health: How We’ll Know When The COVID-19 Crisis Is Over

• Health: Some COVID-19 Survivors Are Asking Why They Made It While Others Did Not

• National: More Abortion Restrictions Have Been Enacted In The U.S. This Year Than In Any Other

• National: Geocaching While Black: Outdoor Pastime Reveals Racism And Bias

• National: Death Valley Posts 130-Degree Heat, Potentially Matching A Record High

• Science: Heat Wave Killed An Estimated 1 Billion Sea Creatures, And Scientists Fear Even Worse

• Science: Richard Branson Has Completed A Historic Trip To The Edge Of Space On Virgin Galactic

• Business: Remington Filed Thousands Of Cartoons In A Sandy Hook Court Case. Was It Trolling?

• World: With A Staggering Depth Of 196 Feet, The World’s Deepest Pool Is Opening In Dubai

About today’s curator

I’m Ethan Magoc, a news editor at WUFT. Originally from Pennsylvania, I’ve found a home telling Florida stories. I’m part of a team searching each morning for local and state stories that are important to you; please send feedback about today’s edition or ideas for stories we may have missed to [email protected].

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