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 "storms" ...

  • 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?
  • 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/
  • How Fire Feeds

    Last summer, three sparks set off a series of violent firestorms in southern Lake County, California, destroying thousands of homes and killing four people. Reveal took a deeper look at the fires using satellite images and government data to explore how and why the blazes moved through the county and what it means for the future of firefighting in the West. Here is a link to the interactive Reveal created with satellite data to show how the fires spread: http://fire.revealnews.org/
  • How NJ Transit Failed Sandy's Test

    On the weekend before Sandy thundered into New Jersey, transit officials studied a map showing bright green and orange blocks. On the map, the area where most New Jersey Transit trains were being stored showed up as orange – or dry. So keeping the trains in its centrally-located Meadows Maintenance Complex and the nearby Hoboken yards seemed prudent. And it might have been a good plan. Except the numbers New Jersey Transit used to create the map were wrong. If officials had entered the right numbers, they would have predicted what actually happened: a storm surge that engulfed hundreds of rail cars, some of them brand new, costing over $120 million in damage and thrusting the system’s passengers into months of frustrating delays. But the fate of NJ Transit’s trains – over a quarter of the agency’s fleet - didn’t just hang on one set of wrong inputs. It followed years of missed warnings, failures to plan, and lack of coordination under Governor Chris Christie, who has expressed ambivalence about preparing for climate change while repeatedly warning New Jerseyans not to underestimate the dangers of severe storms.
  • After the Flood

    “After the Flood” is a series of stories, interactive graphics and news applications investigating the federal government’s preparation for and response to Hurricane Sandy, and the challenge it faces with major storms becoming increasingly common as the climate changes.
  • 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.
  • Utility Ethics Flap

    When the top lawyer for Indiana's utility regulatory commission suddenly quit his job to work for the state's largest utility (Duke Energy Corp.), reporters smelled a rat and demanded state records to see if the two organizations had been engaged in improper conversations. The lawyer in question, Scott Storms, had been the chief administrative law judge for the state, ruling on numerous cases involving the utility, notably its new $2.9 billion power plant. What they found was eye-opening. Mr. Storms had been in talks with the utility for many months about a job, even as he was ruling on cases involving the company, and approving huge cost over-runs for a new power plant. The matter was of deep public interest, because the state agency rules on utility rates paid by all state residents and businesses, and it's dealings were compromised by possible undue influence.
  • Snow Removal

    After the storm in January 2009, Southern Illinois University Carbondale was left to cleanup. The job brought "complaints from students, faculty, and staff" and the conditions were "hardest on the disabled". This story looks at the "Americans with Disabilities Act" and whether the university violated it. Further, it examines the concerns from "disabled students, faculty, and staff that had a very tough time maneuvering around campus because the sidewalks were not properly cleaned up".
  • China Storms Africa

    China's drive for resources in Africa has depleted one sub-Saharan country after another is wreaking havoc environmentally and morally as corruption is on the rise and workers are being exploited.