Portal:Florida Article

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Introduction

Florida ( /ˈflɒrɪdə/ ( About this sound  listen); Spanish for "land of flowers") is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive (65,755 sq mi or 170,300 km2), the 3rd-most populous (21,312,211 inhabitants), and the 8th-most densely populated (384.3/sq mi or 148.4/km2) of the U.S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. The Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital.

Florida's $996.3 billion economy is the fourth largest in the United States. If it were a country, Florida would be the 16th largest economy in the world, and the 58th most populous . In 2017, Florida's per capita personal income was $47,684, ranking 26th in the nation. The unemployment rate in September 2018 was 3.5% and ranked as the 18th in the United States. Florida exports nearly $55 billion in goods made in the state, the 8th highest among all states. The Miami Metropolitan Area is by far the largest urban economy in Florida and the 12th largest in the United States with a GDP of $344.9 billion as of 2017. This is more than twice the number of the next metro area, the Tampa Bay Area, which has a GDP of $145.3 billion. Florida is home to 51 of the world's billionaires with most of them residing in South Florida.

The first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who called it la Florida ( [la floˈɾiða] "the land of flowers") upon landing there in the Easter season, known in Spanish as Pascua Florida. Florida was a challenge for the European colonial powers before it gained statehood in the United States in 1845. It was a principal location of the Seminole Wars against the Native Americans, and racial segregation after the American Civil War.

Today, Florida is distinctive for its large Cuban expatriate community and high population growth, as well as for its increasing environmental issues. The state's economy relies mainly on tourism, agriculture, and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century. Florida is also renowned for amusement parks, orange crops, winter vegetables, the Kennedy Space Center, and as a popular destination for retirees. Florida is the flattest state in the United States. Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in the U.S. state of Florida.

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Four pictures show: a portion of a wall torn from a house, with a palm tree lying on a beach; a group of people walking amid piles of wood and puddles of water, with leaning palm trees showing broken fronds in the foreground; a group of large palm trees by a roadside, with one palm tree knocked down and debris on the ground; and a group of palm trees showing broken fronds.

The 1947 Fort Lauderdale hurricane was an intense tropical cyclone that affected the Bahamas, southernmost Florida, and the Gulf Coast of the United States in September 1947. The fourth Atlantic tropical cyclone of the year, it formed in the eastern Atlantic Ocean on September 4, becoming a hurricane, the third of the 1947 Atlantic hurricane season, less than a day later. After moving south by west for the next four days, it turned to the northwest and rapidly attained strength beginning on September 9. It reached a peak intensity of 145 mph (233 km/h) on September 15 while approaching the Bahamas. In spite of contemporaneous forecasts that predicted a strike farther north, the storm then turned to the west and poised to strike South Florida, crossing first the northern Bahamas at peak intensity. In the Bahamas, the storm produced a large storm surge and heavy damage, but with no reported fatalities.

A day later, the storm struck South Florida as a Category 4 hurricane, its eye becoming the first and only of a major hurricane to strike Fort Lauderdale. In Florida, advance warnings and stringent building codes were credited with minimizing structural damage and reducing loss of life to 17 people, but nevertheless widespread flooding and coastal damage resulted from heavy rainfall and high tides. Many vegetable plantings, citrus groves, and cattle were submerged or drowned as the storm exacerbated already high water levels and briefly threatened to breach the dikes surrounding Lake Okeechobee. However, the dikes held firm, and evacuations were otherwise credited with minimizing the potential death toll. On the west coast of the state, the storm caused further flooding, extensive damage south of the Tampa Bay Area, and the loss of a ship at sea.

On September 18, the hurricane entered the Gulf of Mexico and threatened the Florida Panhandle, but later its track moved farther west than expected, ultimately leading to a landfall southeast of New Orleans, Louisiana. Upon making landfall, the storm killed 34 people on the Gulf Coast of the United States and produced a storm tide as high as 15.2 ft (4.6 m), flooding millions of square miles and destroying thousands of homes. The storm was the first major hurricane to test Greater New Orleans since 1915, and the widespread flooding that resulted spurred flood-protection legislation and an enlarged levee system to safeguard the flood-prone area. In all, the powerful storm killed 51 people and caused $110 million (1947 US$) in damage.

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In the news

10 November 2018 – Florida elections, 2018
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner orders machine recounts in the U.S. Senate race and the state's governor and agriculture commissioner races as required by law when the lead is less than 0.5 percent. Results are due by 3 p.m. EST Thursday. Should the results still be within 0.25 percentage points, a manual recount will be triggered, with results due on November 18. (CNBC) (NPR)
9 November 2018 – United States Senate election in Florida, 2018
As the Florida Senate election heads to a mandatory recount, United States President Donald Trump and Rick Scott claim, without evidence, that widespread voter fraud occurred in Florida during the recent midterm election. (NPR)
Federal judges order election officials from Broward and Palm Beach Counties to release absentee ballot information as they continue to count the ballots. (WINK News)
2 November 2018 – 2018 Tallahassee shooting
A gunman kills two people and injures five others before killing himself at a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida, United States. (CBS News)
25 October 2018 – October 2018 United States mail bombing attempts
The Miami-Dade Police Department and federal authorities believe several of the packages went through a mail processing and distribution center in Opa-locka, Florida and are currently searching the facility with a bomb squad and K-9 unit. (CNN)
17 October 2018 – 2018 Atlantic hurricane season
Over 1,000 people remain missing a week after Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle. (Huffington Post)

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