Florida

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center | Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Tropical Storm Nate formed in the southwestern part of the Caribbean Sea Wednesday morning and is moving north. Nate is hovering over Nicaragua and Honduras today but will soon be back over the warm waters.

The storm is still disorganized but should have more favorable conditions to develop once it emerges back over water. It is now predicted to become a hurricane and strike the gulf coast by the later part of the weekend and into early next week. 

Florida residents have begun to dig out in hurricane-scarred Florida and officials are slowly piecing together the scope of Irma's vicious path of destruction across the peninsula.      

The fate of the Florida Keys, where Irma rumbled through with Category 4 muscle, remains largely a question mark. Communication and access were cut and authorities dangled only vague assessments of ruinous impact.

      

Florida Gov. Rick Scott called the storm "devastating" after emerging from a Monday fly-over of the Keys.

      

Marc Sayce / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

The number of speeding tickets issued by the Florida Highway Patrol has dropped for three straight years as the agency deals with a shortage of troopers.

 Col. Gene Spaulding tells the Miami Herald the agency has lost 993 troopers - or about half of its workforce - to retirement or resignation since 2010. 

 Spaulding says the agency does what it can to provide public safety, patrolling areas that include Interstates 4, 75 and 95 in the nation's third most populated state that also doubles as a tourist destination.

Cory Crowe / KEDM News

Federal authorities want to suspend blood donations in Florida counties investigating four mysterious cases of Zika infection that may be the first spread by mosquitoes on the U.S. mainland.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on its website asks blood centers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties to immediately stop collecting blood until each unit of blood can be screened for the virus.

Florida health officials have said the infections may not be linked to travel outside the U.S., but they haven't confirmed how the virus spread.