90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Central Florida groups hurry up and wait before responding to Hurricane Fiona, welcoming evacuees

Hurricane Fiona was heading north from the Dominican Republic Monday afternoon, still flooding Puerto Rico with heavy rains. Image: NOAA

Central Florida government, church and nonprofit leaders are poised to boost Hurricane Fiona relief efforts in Puerto Rico and to welcome evacuees should they come to Orlando.

Even as Hurricane Fiona’s heavy rain continued to pummel Puerto Rico — and the Dominican Republic — these leaders gathered on a Zoom call Monday to combine efforts and urge patience.

Episcopal priest and group organizer Father Jose Rodriguez is warning people to be wary of scams and donate only to trusted agents.

The new collaboration comes nearly five years after Hurricane Maria forced hundreds of thousands to flee the U.S. territory.

“We don’t know if there is going to be a big wave of displacement or if it’s going to be small,” Rodrigues aid. “All we know is that today we’re handling problems on island. But we also have to be ready and prudent to help people that arrive here.”

Orlando City Councilman Tony Ortiz expects updates through emergency management and from his contacts in Puerto Rico.

“I know that when the time comes everybody is going to be joining in,” he said on the call. “And as I said, this is just one of those things where rush, rush … as we used to say in the SWAT team rush, rush and rush to wait and see what happens.”

The group is registering nonprofits and getting ready to coordinate relief.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.