Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Hurricanes" ...

  • Puerto Rico After the Storms: Recovery and Fraud

    U.S. taxpayer are footing the biggest bill ever for a natural disaster, $91 billion, going to a government mired in corruption and under FBI investigation. We are the only news program that we know of to tackle and extensively report on how much has been promised and how little has actually been received in the wake of hurricanes Maria and Irma. We travelled to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, learning there has been a great deal of misreporting and misunderstanding about these numbers, which were not easily accessible. To get at the true amounts, we obtained and examined federal and territory documents, pressed the governor’s office, and interviewed officials responsible for the aid including Puerto Rico’s top hurricane recovery official and FEMA’s top official in Puerto Rico. During our visit, there was a popular uprising against the government followed by the governor's resignation, and additional FBI arrests of U.S. and Puerto Rican officials and contractors.
  • WBTV Investigates: Hurricane Recovery Delays

    Two hurricanes devastated parts of eastern North Carolina two years apart: Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Florence in 2018. Despite the gap, the state had made little progress in helping victims of Hurricane Matthew get back in their owns by the time Florence hit. For the past year, we've uncovered problem after problem with the state's efforts to administer hundreds of millions of dollars in federal disaster aid. Our work has prompted multiple legislative hearings; the creation of a legislative investigative committee and the formation of a new state disaster recovery office.
  • Hurricane Maria’s dead

    On September 20, 2017 Puerto Rico was devastated by the strongest hurricane that has hit the island in the last century. In the weeks after the storm, the government insisted there were only a few dozen deaths, but reporting on the ground by the Center for Investigative Journalism suggested there were hundreds. Officials also refused to provide overall mortality statistics that could help measure the impact of the storm. Given the lack of a reliable official death toll, we put together our own database with information collected from family members through an online survey, reporting, and tips. We verified those deaths by matching the victims’ names with government death records CPI eventually obtained through a lawsuit, and through nearly 300 phone interviews with victims’ relatives. We analyzed that material, as well as historic demographic data, to detect changes in mortality trends after the storm.
  • Hell and High Water

    The Houston area is home to 6.5 million people, as well as America’s largest oil refining and petrochemical complex. And it’s a sitting duck for the extreme storms and floods that will become more common as the effects of climate change become more pronounced. So why isn’t Texas — or the federal government — doing more to protect it? https://projects.propublica.org/houston/
  • Business of Disaster

    Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast in 2013, but it wasn’t a disaster for everyone. For some, Sandy was big money. This investigation revealed for the first time just how much money insurance companies make during a disaster, and how those companies wielded a taxpayer program into a powerhouse of profit while homeowners suffered.
  • Flood Cars

    ABC's The Lookout and Nightline investigates vehicles were seriously damaged by Hurricane Sandy and the people and institutions responsible for them turning up for sale in used car lots across the country.
  • Florida's Insurance Nightmare

    Six years after eight hurricanes ripped across Florida, state residents still struggle to recover from the storms' legacy - a wrecked property insurance market. Exorbitant premiums, the highest in the world, have soured the state's struggling economy, killed real estate sales and forced families from their homes. Homeowners were told that unless they paid even more, no insurance company would take their hurricane risk. The Herald-Tribune showed that is a lie. Floridians have been lied to about why there is a crisis, where their money is going, and whether they're even protected against storm losses. Public policy has been corrupted by fiction spun by the insurance industry and its supposed regulators. Billions of dollars desperately needed for the next disaster have been siphoned offshore. And millions of homeowners are left to entrust their financial security on a system rigged to extort profit. To expose the hidden truth of Florida's insurance crisis, St. John cultivated key sources deep within every aspect of the insurance industry and sought massive amounts of financial and policy data from multiple state and national entities. When it became obvious Florida's crisis was manipulated from afar, she traveled to Bermuda and Monte Carlo to discover the hidden players truly in charge.
  • Insurers Criticized for New Rate Models

    This story investigates property-casualty insurers' use of controversial computer models created by various modeling firms; the computer models use complex data to project potential losses from hurricanes and other natural disasters. But investigative reporting revealed the models can be flawed in their design, in their assumptions or in their application by insurers.
  • Storm World

    "In the wake of Katrina, the book follows the careers of leading scientists on either side of the argument over the relationship between hurricanes and global warming, tracing how the media, special interests, politics, and the weather itself have skewed and amplified what was already a fraught scientific dispute."
  • The Next Disaster: Are We Ready?

    Reader's Digest rated "10 large cities on their level of preparedness for disasters," both natural and manmade. The cities were chosen based on their high level of vulnerability to disasters "from terror attacks to hurricanes." They scored each city based on "first responders, crisis communications and medical capacity." In the study, Miami, New York City and Washington, D.C. were at the top, while Detroit "was at the bottom."