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Lee, Charlotte and Collier counties issue mandatory evacuations, open shelters; Sarasota, Manatee open shelters, order evacuation

Braun, Michael

Lee County increased it's mandatory evacuation area Tuesday afternoon adding a portion of Zone C to the Zone A and B areas already under the order.

With Hurricane Ian inching ever closer to a possible landfall on the Gulf Coast of Florida, likely Wednesday evening, Charlotte and Collier counties joined Lee earlier Tuesday to issue mandatory evacuation orders and open shelters.

Further north, Sarasota and Manatee also ordered evacuation orders.

Around 4 p.m. Lee County increased it's mandatory evacuation order adding select parts of C to all of Evacuation Zone A and B.

Zone Cincludes portions of an area along U.S. 41south from Colonial Boulevard as well as areas in Cape Coral west of Chiquita Boulevard, south of Veterans Parkway and other spots.

County Manager Roger DesJarlais and other county officials announced the evacuation at a morning briefing.

The evacuation came after a hurricane warning was been issued for Lee County. The county also issued a State of Local Emergency.

"We cannot legally force people off the islands, but we recommend that they go," DesJarlais said. "There is about 250,000 people in (those zones)."

DesJarlais also said those residents living in mobile or manufactured homes should also plan to evacuate.

County officials urged residents to check information and maps at leegov.com.

Ten emergency shelters opened around 9 a.m. Tuesday, he said.

"They are all pet friendly" DesJarlais said. "People consider them part of the family."

Additionally, DesJarlais said the county's emergency operations center on Ortiz Avenue has now been fully activated.
The Lee County Housing, Outreach and Treatment Teams and Outreach Staff are coordinating with people experiencing homelessness to arrange LeeTran transport to area shelters with the approach of Hurricane Ian.

People who are experiencing homelessness have been asked to arrive at the following outreach locations this morning to transport and shelter information:

  • Lion’s Park, 2550 Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers
  • Fort Myers Regional Library, 2450 First St., Fort Myers
  • Rosa Parks Transportation Center, 2250 Widman Way, Fort Myers
  • Edison Transfer Station, 4125 Cleveland Ave, Fort Myers
  • Cape Coral Transfer Center, 820 SE 47th Terrace, Cape Coral
  • Shopping plaza on the east side of U.S. 41 and Hancock Bridge in North Fort Myers.
  • Fort Myers Beach Park and Ride, 11101 Summerlin Square Dr, Fort Myers Beach
  • Schandler Hall, 419 Royal Palm Park Road, Fort Myers

LeeTran will suspend service at 4 p.m. Tuesday and no service will be available for Wednesday, Sept. 28. Any individual who is not able to engage with HOT Team or Outreach Staff is asked to please find the closest LeeTran bus stop and inform the driver they would like to go to a shelter.
All LeeTran fares are suspended today, and all buses will stop at 4 p.m. and will not resume until accessibility and safety is assessed for Thursday.

To view the current shelter List: https://www.leegov.com/hurricane/storm

Residents in evacuation areas are asked to refrain from putting out garbage, recycling or yard waste before leaving the area. For those who are not in evacuation areas, regular pickup will occur today as scheduled. On Wednesday, services will be suspended countywide and reassessed as the emergency proceeds.

Map of Evacuation Zones in Charlotte County
Charlotte County Office of Emergency Management
Map of Evacuation Zones in Charlotte County

Charlotte County opened storm shelters in Port Charlotte at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Charlotte County Emergency Management has ordered an evacuation of red areas in Zone A. This includes the barrier islands of Don Pedro Island, Knight Island (Palm Island), Little Gasparilla Island, Gasparilla Island, and Manasota Key. The evacuation order also covers anyone living in mobile homes or trailers.

Tuesday afternoon, that evacuation order was extended to orange areas in Zone B. Charlotte County Director of Emergency Management Patrick Fuller said the decision to expand the evacuation order stemmed from a shift in the storm's forecast track that makes life threatening storm surge more likely. The county is forecast to experience 6-12 feet of storm surge. Charlotte's evacuation order now covers about 120,000 people, or about two thirds of the county's population. "I don't advise anyone to stay," said Fuller during a media briefing Tuesday afternoon.
"If someone makes that decision to do so, to stay in a red or orange evacuation zone, we cannot provide any assistance at that time. There’s the high likelihood of there being life threatening storm surge to the area. My advice now is to get out of the evacuation areas."

All shelters in Charlotte County are pet friendly. Anyone planning to go to a shelter should bring a Go Kit including a three-day supply of food and water, toiletries, medications, sleeping items, phone chargers and anything else you might need. For those bringing pets, be sure to bring your own pet food and other supplies as well as a crate or pet carrier and ID tags and health records.

Open shelters in Charlotte County are:

Kingsway Elementary School, 23300 Quasar Blvd, Port Charlotte

Liberty Elementary School, 370 Atwater St., Port Charlotte

Neil Armstrong Elementary School, 22100 Breezeswept Ave., Port Charlotte

Harold Ave. Regional Park Recreation Center, 23400 Harold Ave., Port Charlotte

Babcock School Field House, 43301 Cypress Pkwy, Punta Gorda.

Due to potential hazards related to Hurricane Ian, Collier County issued a Mandatory Evacuation Notice for Zone A, those living in the immediate coastal areas, west and south of US Highway 41/Tamiami Trail, in low-lying flood-prone areas and mobile homes.

For those evacuating but have other options available to them, General Population Shelters opened at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27th as a last resort.

The following Pet-Friendly General Population Shelters will be opening:

  • Oak Ridge Middle School, 14975 Collier Blvd, Naples
  • Corkscrew Middle School, 1165 Oil Well Rd, Naples
  • Golden Gate Middle School, 2701 48th Terrace SW.  Naples
  • Immokalee Middle School, 401 North 9th ST, Immokalee

Marco Island issued a mandatory evacuation Tuesday afternoon, urging all residents to leave the island and citing a 6 to 9-foot storm surge.

Sarasota County evacuation zone map
Sarasota County
Sarasota County evacuation zone map

Highlands County shelter/evacuations:
A voluntary evacuation of flood-prone areas and non-slab-built homes (trailers, RVs, mobile homes) has been issued for our county.
SPECIAL NEEDS shelter opened at 2 p.m.
Bert J. Harris Agricultural Center, 4509 George Blvd., Sebring
At this point, Special Needs registrants who have registered and been approved should have been contacted by Highlands County Emergency Management staff for shelter arrangements.
To register, click highlandsfl.gov/departments/PublicSafety/special_needs_shelter_application.php
GENERAL POPULATION shelter opens at 4 p.m.
Alan Jay Arena (Firemens Field), 781 Magnolia Ave., Sebring
Food and water will not be provided at any of the shelters. Please bring enough food and water to last for yourself and your loved ones for up to 3 days.

Manatee and Sarasota shelter/evacuations: In Sarasota County an evacuation order has been issued for Level A including Longboat Key and mostly coastal areas of the county. The evacuation order also covers those living in vessels, RVs and mobile and manufactured homes. Emergency shelters in Sarasota open at noon, Sept. 27. Click here to find your level.

In Manatee County a mandatory evacuation order has been issued for people in Zones A and B with a voluntary evacuation issued for Zone C. Emergency shelters in Manatee County opened a 8 a.m., Sept. 27. Click here to find your zone.

Water will be shut off to residents and businesses on Siesta Key, Casey Key, Anna Maria Island and parts of Longboat Key Tuesday in anticipation of Hurricane Ian.

Shelters in Manatee Counties will be at the following locations: (note: not all shelters are pet friendly)

Bayshore Elementary School, 6120 26th St. W., Bradenton

Braden River High School, 6545 State Road 70 E., Bradenton (Pet-friendly shelter)

Braden River Middle School, 6215 River Club Blvd., Bradenton

Daughtrey Elementary, 515 63rd Ave. E., Bradenton

Freedom Elementary School, 9515 State Road 64 E., Bradenton

Gullett Elementary School, 12125 44th Ave. E., Bradenton

Haile Middle School, 9501 State Road 64 E., Bradenton

Johnson-Wakeland School of International Baccalaureate, 2121 26th Ave. E., Bradenton

Lee Middle School, 4000 53rd Ave. W., Bradenton

Manatee High School, 902 33rd St. Court W., Bradenton (Pet-friendly shelter)

McNeal Elementary School, 6325 Lorraine Road, Bradenton

Miller Elementary School, 601 43rd St. W., Bradenton

Oneco Elementary School, 5214 22nd St. Court E., Bradenton

Prine Elementary School, 3801 Southern Parkway, Bradenton

Rogers Garden Elementary School, 515 13th Ave. W., Bradenton

Seabreeze Elementary School, 3601 71st St. W., Bradenton

Willis Elementary School, 14705 The Masters Ave., Bradenton

Witt Elementary School, 200 Rye Road, Bradenton

Myakka City Elementary School, 37205 Manatee Ave., Myakka City

Buffalo Creek Middle School, 7320 69th St. E., Palmetto

Mills Elementary School, 7200 69th St. E., Palmetto (Pet-friendly shelter)

Tillman Elementary School, 1415 29th St. E., Palmetto

Harvey Elementary School, 8610 115th Ave. E., Parrish

Williams Elementary School, 3404 Ft. Hamer Road, Parrish

Kinnan Elementary School, 3415 Tellevast Road, Sarasota

Shelters in Sarasota County will be at the following locations:

Atwater Elementary School, 4701 Huntsville Ave., North Port (Pet-friendly shelter)

Heron Creek Middle School, 6501 West Price Blvd., North Port (Pet-friendly shelter)

North Port High School, 6400 West Price Blvd., North Port (Pet-friendly shelter)

Woodland Middle School, 2700 Panacea Blvd., North Port (Pet-friendly shelter)

Booker High School, 3201 North Orange Ave., Sarasota (Pet-friendly shelter)

Brookside Middle School, 3636 South Shade Ave., Sarasota (Pet-friendly shelter)

Fruitville Elementary School, 601 North Honore Ave., Sarasota (Pet-friendly shelter)

Gulf Gate Elementary School, 6500 South Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota (Pet-friendly shelter)

Phillippi Shores Elementary, 4747 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (Pet-friendly shelter)

Riverview High School, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota (Pet-friendly shelter)

Southside Elementary School, 1901 Webber St., Sarasota (Pet-friendly shelter)

Taylor Ranch Elementary School, 2500 Taylor Ranch Trail, Venice (Pet-friendly shelter)

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