Hurricane Irma and the massive bands of wind and rain the rocked Southwest Florida has moved north, but in the aftermath of the storm, hundreds of thousands of residents remain without power and the toll of the hurricane is beginning to come into focus as emergency responders begin assessments and repairs.
We'll hear from residents of Southwest Florida leaving Germain Arena, and share their thoughts about taking refuge at the shelter and what questions they face as they return to their homes. WGCU reporter Jessica Meszaros was there as people waded through the flooded parking lot to begin their journey home.
As those residents return home, local utilities are beginning repairs to restore power. Florida Power and Light says 3.6 million customers remain without power in the wake of Irma as of Monday. A utility spokesperson joins Gulf Coast Live to provide an update on restoration efforts that have affected 4.3 million of the company's customers. Karen Ryan with Lee County Electric Cooperative association joins the show to provide on update on LCEC's efforts to restore power to more than 170,700 homes. They'll also provide tips on how to safely user generators in the meantime, emphasizing the deadly threat using a generator indoors can pose.
Kate Albers with Collier County joins the show to provide an update on recovery efforts in areas that took the brunt of Irma's second landfall, including Marco Island. We also have updates from WGCU reporter Quincy Walters covering Lee County with new information from Emergency Operations Center news conference.
As roads begin to clear and those who evacuated the area or sought refuge in shelters prepare for the journey home, Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Greg Bueno joins Gulf Coast Live to provide an update on roadway conditions, from flooding to downed power lines and trees, and other concerns as Floridians hit the road after the storm.
And as the region watched the enormous and powerful storm go from a Category 5 to 4 and ultimately dissipate after passing our area, WGCU reporter Rachel Iacovone shares her experience of being in Collier County as the eye passed.