ASL interpreter baffles at briefing in Florida

In an emergency situation, it's important to get life-saving information out to the people. Deaf residents of Manatee County, Florida may not have received this message clearly, as a man with limited sign language skills was put in front of the camera to translate a televised briefing about Hurricane Irma.

To show just how embarrassingly bad the translation really was, YouTuber Jane Smith added captions to the briefing.

As an example, "We need you to be safe," became "Need be bear monster" to this under-qualified interpreter.

One YouTube commenter defended the man, writing:

ma'am he was not impersonating an interpreter. I personally know him and he is not an interpreter nor does he claim to be. His brother is Deaf. He works for the county as marine rescue. THE county are the ones who are to blame not this man. For the record his superiors asked him to, and he told them that he was not an interpreter and did not want to, but he was coerced into doing it anyways. Yes, it was a serious mistake, but please direct your outrage appropriately and don't just make assumptions about someone's motives without knowing anything about them please...

Poor guy, he really gave it his best shot.

(Holy Kaw!) Read the rest

Photos show Richard Branson's private Necker island destroyed by Irma

Billionaire Richard Branson has posted images on Twitter that show post-Irma damage to his island, Necker, as well as other surrounding islands. He's working on getting aid to the British Virgin Islands, which were wiped out by Irma. Read the rest

Images of what highway in Florida looks like as 500,000 people told to get out

What does it look like when over 500,000 people are ordered to evacuate South Florida in anticipation of Hurricane Irma? Not good. Even those trying to beat traffic by leaving at 1:30 AM this morning were stuck in standstill gridlock, such as Larry Aydlette of the Palm Beach Post. He says what would normally be a 2-hour drive took 8 hours, and this was driving in the dark hours of the morning.

A perhaps unprecedented flow of cars, trucks and humanity was streaming north on Florida’s Turnpike early Friday morning, fleeing Hurricane Irma and creating massive traffic slowdowns.

I was trapped in it. I left Jupiter at 1:30 a.m. Friday, taking what is usually a two-hour drive to my family’s home in Kissimmee, south of Orlando. I thought I was being cagey. If I left in the early morning hours, I might beat some of the punishing daytime traffic. I thought wrong.

Friday’s drive time: Eight hours.

If you can call it driving. Often, the top speed on the 70 mph freeway was a stop-and-start 5 mph. You kept wondering if there was an accident that drivers were rubbernecking, eventually realizing that it was just the narrow two-lane roadway was severely overloaded.

The Category 5 hurricane has been downgraded to Category 4, but that's still good reason to flee as soon as possible, even if it takes all day.

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Florida management company bans tenants from using storm shutters as Hurricane Irma approaches

Tenants in Colony Park in West Palm Beach, Florida have been warned by their property management company Services Taylor Made ((407) 732-6850) that they are prohibited from putting shutters on their windows as a safety measure against the approaching Hurricane Irma. Read the rest

Florida Sheriff warns storm victims to expect warrant checks at hurricane shelters

Grady Judd (@PolkCoSheriff, 1-800-226-0344) is the Sheriff of Polk County, FL, in the path of Hurricane Irma; his emergency communications have included repeated warnings to Floridians with outstanding warrants that they will not be welcomed at the state's shelters, and can expect to have their warrant status checked before admission to a shelter, and to be taken to jail if they have warrants outstanding. Read the rest