All eyes were on Hurricane Irma last week as the storm roared across the Caribbean and the southeastern United States, flattening buildings and tossing debris across homes and streets, killing at least 47 and putting hundreds of thousands in shelters. Though analysts had expected the storm to cause the most damage in Florida, it devastated islands like St. Martin and Barbuda, which officials say will take years to rebuild.

(If you missed it: here’s what NewsHour saw on the ground and how you can help).

It’s not yet clear how much the damage will cost — either in Florida, where millions remain without power, or in Texas, which is still recovering from Hurricane Harvey — or how much more money Congress can free up to help. Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert told reporters he’s not worried. But lawmakers now must deal with disaster funding on top of an already-packed legislative calendar (including DACA, the debt ceiling and tax reform).

As we learn more about what the storm left behind, and where recovery goes now, here are five stories you might have missed.

1. More people are dying of fentanyl overdoses than during the peak of the AIDS epidemic

More than 64,000 people died of a drug overdose in 2016, according to numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control — a more than 20 percent increase over the previous year.

It was a much more dramatic rise in deadly overdoses than analysts had predicted, including at the New York Times, whose own analysis in June predicted 59,000 deaths last year. The fatalities are largely driven by the opioid epidemic, responsible for 6 in 10 opioid deaths.

Among the more shocking findings in the government report, analyzed by the Times last week, was …read more

Source:: PBS NewsHour – Nation

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