PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

HURRICANE IAN: Government, health and utilities-related information

A damaged causeway to Sanibel Island is seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian , Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, near Sanibel Island, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wilfredo Lee/AP
A damaged causeway to Sanibel Island is seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian , Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, near Sanibel Island, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)


Travel advisories

All 400 Lee County traffic signals will be assessed for damage from Hurricane Ian.
Michael Braun
All 400 Lee County traffic signals will be assessed for damage from Hurricane Ian.

Motorists traveling to the Southwest Florida area are encouraged to use Interstate 75, State Road 80, State Road 60, State Road 31, or US 27 as open roadways.

Update from the Florida Highway Patrol as of Tuesday, Oct. 4:

Sarasota County:

  • Interstate 75 Exit 182 (Sumter Boulevard) ramps are back open

Desoto County:

  • Southbound US 17 lanes are back open
  • Northbound US 17 lanes are back open
  • State Road 70 remains closed
  • State Road 72 remains closed

Hardee County

  • Southbound and Northbound US 17 lanes are back open

Many intersections have inoperative traffic signals, pooled water or debris on or near roadways.

Blue Roof program
Lee, Charlotte, Collier and Sarasota county residents are now eligible for this FEMA program.

Go to Blueroof.us or https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Emergency-Operations/Blue-Roof-Information/

Lee County

Officials say:

We are actively working to help you get the information and resources you need. Follow Lee County Government on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and visit leegov.com/storm for the most up-to-date information on the county's recovery efforts following Hurricane Ian.

You can also catch up on recent press conferences and watch helpful videos, such as the generator safety video on our YouTube Channel.

Six municipalities serve Lee County residents including the City of Bonita Springs, the City of Cape Coral, the Village of Estero, the City of Fort Myers, the Town of Fort Myers Beach and the City of Sanibel. If you are looking for information specific to a municipality, please visit their respective website (linked above) and follow their social media channels.

Local Utilities

Lee County Government can only provide updates on behalf of Lee County Utilities regarding water restoration progress and boil water advisories. For information specific to your home, consult your utility provider's website and social media channels.

For updates on power restoration throughout the area, please consult local providers LCEC (Lee County Electric Cooperative) and FPL (Florida Power & Light).


UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE CHANGES: The work search reporting, waiting week, and Employ Florida registration requirements for Reemployment Assistance claims have been temporarily waived for Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian in FEMA disaster-declared counties. By waiving these requirements, eligible Floridians will be able to quickly apply and receive reemployment assistance and disaster unemployment assistance benefits.

Additionally, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available to Florida businesses and residents in FEMA disaster-declared counties whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Ian and are not eligible for regular state or Federal Reemployment Assistance benefits.

SCAMS: Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis warns individuals and businesses looking to contribute to Hurricane Ian relief efforts to be cautious of imposter GoFundMe style crowdfunding websites and charity scams and encourages Floridians to donate to the Florida Disaster Fund. First Lady Casey DeSantis announced Thursday that within hours of activation, the Florida Disaster Fund received over $10 million in donations to support communities impacted by Hurricane Ian. To contribute, please visit www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or text DISASTER to 20222.


Customers in areas affected by Hurricane Ian with questions about their mail or package delivery service, or any other matter involving postal operations, can reach USPS through our Customer Care Centers at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). The hours of operation for the Care Centers are Monday – Friday 8 AM – 8:30 PM ET and Saturday 8 AM – 6 PM ET. The latest information on the status of postal services in the impacted areas can be found here: http://about.usps.com/news/service-alerts/welcome.htm.

SANIBEL MAIL: All Sanibel mail, including residential and business mail, may be picked up at the Six Mile Cypress Annex mail facility located at 14651 Ben C Pratt – Six Mile Cypress Parkway, Fort Myers, FL 33912. The building is operating on limited generator power and the building appears closed; however, it is operational. Please go to the pick-up window for service. The hours are 9 am – 2 pm.

Residents who plan to relocate outside of Lee County for an indefinite period of time are encouraged to register a forwarding address with the US Postal Service. Information about forwarding mail is available at this link.

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA — The U.S. Postal Service is providing information to assist Southwest Florida residents and postal customers impacted by Hurricane Ian. We are striving to restore mail delivery and retail services as quickly as possible in all affected areas.

Hold Mail & Change of Address (COA):

Our Hold Mail service is designed for customers who plan on occupying their homes within 30 days. Customers who request Hold Mail will have their mail and packages held safely at their local Post Office for up to 30 days. They can then either pick up accumulated mail at their Post Office (I.D. required for pick up) or they can request mail be delivered to their residence on a date they choose (no longer than 30 days). For more information, go here: https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/.

Customers who will not be able to occupy their home within 30 days should submit a Change of Address (COA) request with the Postal Service. Be sure to mark “Temporary” on the card/online form. A temporary change of address is designed for customers who plan on returning to their residence within six months. If you are NOT planning to return to your current address, please submit a permanent COA request. A COA may be filed at https://moversguide.usps.com.

Debris Removal:

In locations where debris removal is possible, the Postal Service asks that customers move debris piles away from their mail receptacle. The accumulation of debris around mail receptacles can cause delays in delivery. In some instances, contractors removing debris may inadvertently take mail receptacles along with the debris.

If your mailbox has been damaged to the point where delivery is not possible, see above information on arranging to have your mail held at the post office until repairs can be made.

Contacting Us:

FEMA TIPS: Florida homeowners and renters in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Pinellas, Sarasota, and Seminole counties who were affected by Hurricane Ian may apply for FEMA disaster assistance.

Survivors can apply for disaster assistance at www.disasterassistance.gov, by calling 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time, or by using the FEMA mobile app.

If you use a relay service such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.

When you apply for assistance, have the following information ready:

• A current phone number where you can be contacted
• Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying
• Your Social Security number
• A general list of damage and losses
• Banking information if you choose direct deposit
• If insured, the policy number or the agent and/or the company name

Survivors may be eligible to receive assistance for uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from the Hurricane Ian. If you have homeowners, renters or flood insurance, you should file a claim as soon as possible. FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. If your policy does not cover all your disaster expenses, you may be eligible for federal assistance.

Take photos to document damage and begin cleanup and repairs to prevent further damage. Remember to keep receipts from all purchases related to the cleanup and repair.

Disaster assistance may include financial help with temporary lodging and home repairs, as well as other disaster-related expenses.

For an accessible video on how to apply for assistance go to, click HERE. For information on Florida’s recovery from Hurricane Ian, visit fema.gov/disaster/hurricane-ian. Follow FEMA on Twitter at FEMA Region 4 (@femaregion4) / Twitter and at facebook.com/fema.

OPERATION BLUE ROOF/Current Operation Blue Roof Posture: We understand the sense of urgency that homeowners feel while waiting to receive a Blue Roof. After any disaster, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers works with our local, state, and federal partners to respond as quickly as possible. We have currently not received a mission assignment from FEMA for the Blue Roof mission. If/when we do receive a mission, we will do everything possible within our authority to work as quickly and safely as possible for the residents of Florida.


1. Notice to Navigation

Notice is given that all Locks on the Okeechobee Water Way and the Canaveral Harbor Lock are open for normal operation following Hurricane Ian.

Normal locking hours: Okeechobee Waterway Locks from 7 AM to 5 PM, Canaveral Harbor Lock 6 AM to 9:30 PM.

For up-to-date Lock information, contact the shift operator at:

Okeechobee Waterway Locks from 7 AM to 5 PM

St. Lucie Lock & Dam 772-287-2665

Port Mayaca Lock & Dam 561-924-2858

Moore Haven Lock & Dam 863-946-0414

Ortona Lock & Dam 863-675-0616

W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam 239-694-5451

Canaveral Harbor Lock 6 AM to 9:30 PM

Canaveral Lock 321-783-5421


Pet care: University of Florida Veterinarians is offering free veterinary services today to residents with pets in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. The daily service will run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from Terry Park, 3410 Palm Beach Blvd. in Fort Myers. The clinic will be available to provide triage and medical care for the pets in Lee County affected by Hurricane Ian.

The clinic will continue seven days a week until further notice.

“We are honored to be available to assist Lee County during this devastating period,” said Dr. Larry Garcia, University of Florida. “Pets are family members and vital to the recovery of our citizens. Our team will do all we can to ensure the health and well-being of as many animals possible.”

Pablo Adorno, director of Lee County Domestic Animal Services, said the assistance is welcome.

“We are humbled by the those reaching out to support our community during this trying time,” Adorno said. “Our staff will continue working to rescue and reunite displaced pets with their owners. Food distribution sites are being planned, as well as reopening the shelter to full capacity.”

The county asks residents to check www.leegov.com/storm and follow Lee County Domestic Animal Services on Facebook at facebook.com/LeeCountyDomesticAnimalServices.

Urgent care:

A Mobile Health Clinic is set up at Estero Recreation Center, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd., Estero. The clinic is currently open 24 hours a day providing urgent care services. Additional locations are expected to open in the coming days, please visit www.LeeGov.com/Storm for updates.

The Mobile Health Clinics will operate much like traditional urgent care facilities, which handle the types of medical problems that are not emergencies but do need treatment right away. Situations that are appropriate for urgent care include: dehydration, small cuts that may require stitches, sprains and strains, wheezing or shortness of breath, fever without a rash, vomiting or persistent diarrhea, abdominal pain, moderate flu-like symptoms.

The county also encourages residents to check Lee Health’s website for the status of its urgent care clinics and information on when they will reopen. Visit www.LeeHealth.org for that information.

Field hospital:

A Mobile Field Hospital containing 100 beds and an emergency department located at the Edison Mall in the former Sears building is open for services. This facility will serve the general public, providing diagnosis and treatment of a variety of issues routinely seen at traditional hospitals. Residents should continue to call 911 in the event of a life-threatening emergency.

Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) update:

Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT) are mobilizing two additional locations to support the healthcare system in Lee County. Lee Memorial Hospital and the Cape Coral Hospital will be the first two locations to open services on Wednesday. This will allow residents quicker access to emergency services, such as overflow from the Emergency Room. As already stated, residents should continue to call 911 in the event of a life-threatening emergency.

Additional information and updates from Lee County:

It’s anticipated further medical services will be mobilized throughout the response efforts. Check www.leegov.com/storm

South of Fort Myers Beach / north of Bonita Beach:

The following bridges remain closed: New Pass, Big Carlos Pass Bridge and Big Hickory Pass Bridge. Lee County DOT is coordinating with FDOT to determine temporary and permanent repairs for these bridges.

Sanibel Causeway:

FDOT has hired consultants to do a full inspection. The causeway remains closed.

Help for islanders:

Residents of Pine Island and Sanibel who want to leave the islands can use a service the U.S. Coast Guard is offering. USCG continues to help with waterborne-operations, transporting people off those islands.

Lee County uses LeeTran to shuttle islanders to one of its open hurricane shelters, where food, water and connections to services are available. Details are available at www.leegov.com/storm under “transportation.”

Additional information and updates from Lee County:

Afternoon update: Watch the latest press conference with Lee County officials at https://youtu.be/VsEv5PlwlpU. Follow @Lee County Government on Facebook, www.facebook.com/leecountyflbocc

Safety: Generator use

Run your generator outdoors only.

Make sure it’s 10 to 20 feet away from the house.

Debris: Lee County on Monday will open four sites for residents who want to haul yard waste or construction and demolition debris. Visit www.leegov.com/storm and scroll to “Solid Waste.” Those who do not want to haul their own will receive pickup from the county’s contracted debris hauler as part of post-storm recovery.

Lee County Solid Waste garbage collection will resume Monday on the normally scheduled day for all routes in Lee County franchise areas that are accessible to collection trucks. This collection is for household garbage only − everyday trash items and all spoiled food. Collection of recycling will resume at a later time.

Pets: Lee County Domestic Animal Services is coordinating with University of Florida to deploy a mobile veterinary clinic to assist with medical needs of displaced pets.

Animal Control Officers are actively in the Fort Myers Beach area and surrounding areas for recovery and are mobilizing recovery efforts in the Pine Island area.

LCDAS will be setting up food distribution sites for pet owners in need of assistance.

Check www.leegov.com/storm and follow Lee County Domestic Animal Services on Facebook.

Shelters: Please do not bring donated items to hurricane shelters. Monetary donations can be made at www.leegov.com/storm; click on the red “donate” button.

Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) Mobile Coming to Lee County

Residents will be able to obtain replacement driver licenses, identification cards, and titles

Our hearts are with our Lee County community as we continue to process the devastating impacts of Hurricane Ian. We know many of our fellow residents lost everything in this storm, including important documents like driver licenses, identification cards and titles. These can be vital when filing for insurance claims and getting aid from different agencies.

At the request of Lee County Tax Collector Noelle Branning, The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is bringing two units called FLOW (Florida Licensing on Wheels) Mobiles to Lee County. These mobile units will provide residents with replacement driver license, identification cards, and titles. All fees will be waived, and no documents are necessary to issue replacements.

The FLOW Mobiles will be stationed at Hertz Arena (11000 Everblades Parkway, Estero, Florida 33928) starting Monday, October 3, 2022. Hours on Monday will be from 1:30pm – 4:30pm.

Starting Tuesday, October 4th, hours will be 8:30am – 4:30pm, seven days a week.

The FLOW Mobile also offers critical safety services such as emergency contact information registration.

The Lee County Tax Collector is committed to serving our community and is working hard to reopen our offices as soon as possible. We will share up to date information on our website and through social media channels. Our thoughts are with our community during this time.

Health and medical: Federal resources are being mobilized today in the community to support the healthcare system in Lee County. A Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) will be in place at Gulf Coast Medical Center to allow residents quicker access emergency services, such as overflow from the Emergency Room.

Anyone in the vicinity of Gulf Coast Medical Center should adhere to direction from officials on scene as the DMAT mobilizes.

Residents should continue to call 911 in the event of a life-threatening emergency. The DMAT is not open yet. Updates will be provided as they become available.

Lee Health Media Update – 5 p.m., Oct. 4, 2022

Evacuations of HealthPark Medical Center, Golisano Children’s Hospital and Gulf Coast Medical Center have concluded and the transfer of patients to outside facilities is minimal.

Water pressure and power have been restored, and since conditions at our hospitals have improved to near-normal, we no longer need to evacuate patients from these locations.
(Please note: Lee Health hospitals were never without power during or after the storm. Our hospitals are equipped with generator power, which immediately kicks-in in the event of a power outage.)

Cape Coral Hospital and Lee Memorial Hospital did not need to evacuate patients because water pressure to these two facilities was quickly restored.

Emergency departments at all Lee Health hospitals have remained open since the hurricane.

Also, outpatient services at hospitals will reopen tomorrow and will be scaled to staffing at each facility.

Lee Health wants the community to know our hospital campuses are safe and ready to provide high-quality care to our community.

We want to thank our hospital team members for once again demonstrating heroism during Hurricane Ian and in the ensuing days. We are #LeeHealthStrong.

Lee Convenient Care – Bonita Health Center is now OPEN for urgent care services that are NOT emergencies. Hours are 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. every day until further notice.

Lee Convenient Care – Bonita Health Center

3501 Health Center Blvd.

Bonita Springs, FL 34135

239-468-0260 (map)

Please visit this urgent care center for minor ailments such as cold and flu symptoms, scrapes, bruises, sprains and strains, minor pain, infections, cough, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea. They ask that community members DO NOT go the emergency room at Lee Health Coconut Point for any of the above symptoms to help ease staff burden and ensure faster care.


Most of our Lee Physician Group and community-based care offices have reopened or will be reopening this week. Visit www.leehealth.org for a full list of locations. If you need in-home urgent care for minor injuries, please call DispatchHealth at 239-322-3435 or visit www.dispatchhealth.com.

Blood Centers Opening Tomorrow

We are pleased to announce that two of our blood centers are reopening tomorrow. The donor center at Cape Coral Hospital and the location at Bonita Community Health Center are both opening tomorrow with normal operating hours of 8 a.m.-4 p.m. We encourage anyone who is able to make a potentially life-saving donation. We anticipate opening the other locations and launching our mobile blood centers soon.

Update on Lee Pharmacy Hours

Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 5, Lee Pharmacy locations at the hospitals will resume operating 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Lee Pharmacy at Page Field will continue their regular schedule of 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday. The Lee Health Coconut Point Emergency Department pharmacists will continue their regular schedule of 24/7 coverage with open window hours of 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Transportation: Motorists should continue to limit all non-essential travel.

Lee DOT also is assessing the county’s more than 400 traffic signals. Motorists who approach intersections with non-working signals, drive as if it’s a four-way stop or obey any on-scene law enforcement officers.

Bridges continue to be assessed and evaluated. The following bridges are closed: Sanibel Causeway, three bridges in Matlacha, New Pass, Big Carlos Pass Bridge and Big Hickory Pass Bridge.

Utilities: Bonita Springs Utilities, Inc. water is safe to drink!

If you are a resident of Lee County and a customer of BSU, meaning you receive a bill from us, there is no need to boil water. We currently have two precautionary boil water notices in place which are listed on our website, under Service Alerts. These notices affect only a few streets where we repaired local water lines. Residents of Lee County who are customers of other utilities should check with their service provider on the status of boil water notices in their area.

Donations accepted

The United Way and the Collaboratory have created an easy-to-use portal for donations. Monetary donations are more helpful at this time. Visit www.leegov.com/storm and click on the red “Donate” button to contribute to the SWFL Emergency Relief Fund. 100% of funds support nonprofits helping people affected by Hurricane Ian.

County operations

Lee County has announced that county offices will remained closed Monday, Oct. 3, and remain closed pending further notice. Lee County employees remain engaged in recovery efforts.

Getting help for family and friends

Distant friends and family can use the Emergency Service Request Form from the Florida Division of Emergency Management to request help for loved ones they have lost contact with following Hurricane Ian. Local residents can also use the form to ask for help.

Go to https://missing.fl.gov/es for the form.

PODS: Lee County – along with state and federal partners – continue opening Points of Distribution (PODs) for hurricane-impacted residents who need food and water.

Announcements will be made with location information as more PODs are mobilized and opened as supplies become available.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

As PODs open, the county will use its media partners, its Emergency Alert System (which reaches residents’ phones), its website and social media to inform the public of the POD locations. Check www.leegov.com for POD updates or follow @Lee County Government on Facebook,


New location open today, Oct. 5:

  • Coral Oaks Golf Course, 1800 Northwest 28th Ave., Cape Coral

Locations that remain open:

  • Old Bonita Library, 26876 Pine Ave., Bonita Springs
  • Kelly Road Soccer Complex, 10750 Kelly Road, Fort Myers
  • Cape Coral Sports Complex, 1410 Sports Blvd., Cape Coral
  • Cape Coral Leonard Street, 4820 Leonard St., Cape Coral
  • Estero High School Ballfield Park, 9100 Williams Road, Estero
  • North Fort Myers Recreation Center, 2000 N. Recreation Park Way, North Fort Myers
  • Fleamasters Fleamarket, 4135 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Fort Myers
  • Veterans Park Recreation Center, 55 Homestead Road S., Lehigh Acres

Lee County adjusts shelter operations; space remains for residents in need

County is consolidating its shelter operations to adjust for the shelter population. The remaining shelters still have space for people in need.

The shelters remaining open are:

  • Estero Recreation Center, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd., Estero
  • Hertz Arena, 11000 Everblades Pkwy., Estero
  • South Fort Myers High School, 14020 Plantation Road, Fort Myers

The residents staying in the following shelters will be relocated to other shelters this afternoon:

  • Dunbar High School, 3800 Edison Ave., Fort Myers
  • East Lee County High School, 715 Thomas Sherwin Ave., Lehigh Acres
  • Island Coast High School, 2125 DeNavarra Parkway, Cape Coral

Evacuees will have the option of moving to another shelter using their own vehicles or LeeTran. LeeTran vehicles will be taking evacuees to any of the open shelters of their choice.

DEBRIS REMOVAL: Lee County announces Hurricane Ian debris public drop-off sites

Residents and business owners who have the ability and desire to self-haul Hurricane Ian debris while awaiting for roadside pickup can use public drop-off sites. These sites, which will open Monday, will be for both vegetative and structural debris.

Be prepared to show identification and be a resident of unincorporated Lee County. Accepted forms of ID include driver’s license, utility bill, rental or lease agreement, or local business license. You will be asked to complete a waiver confirming the debris came from your property. Find the waiver at www.leegov.com/storm under Operations/ Solid Waste, or get a waiver on site.

For residents –

Only storm debris will be accepted and you must be prepared to unload your trucks yourself. Four locations open Monday with operating hours 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily.

  • Mosquito Control, 1840 Gunnery Road, Lehigh Acres
  • Brooks Park, 50 South Road, Fort Myers
  • San Carlos Utility Site, 18078 Cypress Point Road, Fort Myers
  • Shell Factory, 2805 N. Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers

For businesses –

Lee County commercial business are encouraged to take their storm debris to the Waste-to-Energy Facility, 10500 Buckingham Road, and will be charged by weight. It will be open regular hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For landscaping companies –

Landscaping companies hauling vegetative storm debris cleared from residential properties will need a signed declaration from the resident indicating the address where the debris was generated. No debris will be accepted without a signed declaration.

More information regarding Hurricane Ian and the location and hours of all public drop-off sites can be found at www.leegov.com. Follow @Lee County Government on Facebook, www.facebook.com/leecountyflbocc

Trash pickup reminder –

Lee County Solid Waste garbage collection will resume Monday on the normally scheduled day for all routes in Lee County franchise areas that are accessible to collection trucks. This collection is for household garbage only − everyday trash items and all spoiled food. Collection of recycling will resume at a later time.

BONITA SPRINGS: Bonita Springs Utilities Inc. has restored water service throughout all Little Hickory Island on Bonita Beach. Some individual homes, condominiums or businesses do not have service due to leaks in the building or on the customer’s property. As water service becomes available, customers are advised to boil water for drinking until otherwise notified. Water service may be turned off at some properties. Customers are advised to contact BSU Customer Service when they return to their property, so water can be turned back on while they are present. This helps ensure any potential water leaks present can be immediately identified.

At this time, customers north of Forester Drive are subject to a boil water advisory. All BSU customers outside of Bonita Beach have water service available and no boil water requirement.

Many wastewater pump station control panels were damaged by salt water from the storm surge. These panels house electrical equipment and instrumentation to operate the stations. Repair work is expected to continue for at least another week.

During this time, customers are asked to please help avoid sewer backups in the neighborhood by limiting water use in the following ways:

  • Limit running water and toilet flushing.
  • Do not run dishwashers and clothes washers.
  • Take short showers or baths.

SANIBEL: Access to Sanibel Island by boat is NOT PERMITTED. There is a 24-hour curfew in effect in Lee County and this curfew applies to Sanibel Island.

First responders are conducting a search and rescue operation and individuals attempting to access the island are interfering with these life-saving actions.

Phone information
A new number has been established for contacting the City of Sanibel. For reporting well-being checks or to volunteer resources, services, etc., please call (239) 603-7261.

If you have access to email, please send an email as follows:


If you are aware of an individual(s) who remained on island during Hurricane Ian and you need report a well-being check, please send an email to wellcheck@mysanibel.com and provide your name and number as well as the following information:

  • Name(s) of individual(s)
  • Address
  • Phone number


If you have resources such as boats, equipment, services, skills, etc., and would like to volunteer, please send an email to volunteer@mysanibel.com and provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Resource available
  • Phone number
  • Email address

Island mapping/Post-storm Aerial Imagery of Sanibel Now Available
Island-wide aerial imagery from NOAA:


Helicopter footage of Lee County coastal areas including Sanibel & Captiva. South Seas Plantation can be seen at approximately 16:00 minutes and then the footage continues south to Sanibel and the Causeway.



Collier County Facilities and Services Update

As the community recovers in the wake of Hurricane Ian, county services will begin to resume.

On Monday, October 3, normal county operations will reopen to the public. Parks and libraries will open on Tuesday, October 4 with the exception of the Headquarters Library and South Regional Library which will be open tomorrow, Monday October 3.

All county meetings currently noticed and on the county’s website calendar between October 3 – 7 are canceled with the exception of the Development Services Advisory Committee.

For further information please call 311 if you are within Collier County or (239) 252-8444 if you are out of the area.

Debris collection: Hurricane debris collection begins on Oct. 3 to allow time for residents to put the items out.

Place debris generated by Hurricane Ian curbside, at least three feet apart, in separate piles of: yard waste, construction and demolition (furniture, carpet), household hazardous waste, electronic waste and appliances.

Do not mix waste piles. Debris will be collected by a separate hauler than the usual garbage hauler. When placing curbside, avoid blocking the road, driveways, sidewalks, mailboxes and fire hydrants.

Please be patient for collection of these piles and monitor colliercountyfl.gov/hurricaneprep for updates. It will take some time to collect and all areas will have more than one pick up, as needed. There will be a deadline posted for debris to be placed on the street for pick up.

Any vehicles or vessels blocking roadways will be moved to the side to allow an accessible path. Residents are encouraged to claim their vehicle or boat.

Residents with questions may call the Collier Information Hotline by dialing 311 within Collier County or 239-252-8444. Information can also be found at www.colliercountyfl.gov and social media channels including www.facebook.com/CollierGov and www.twitter.com/CollierGov.

Please have contractors removing storm-related debris from your home, leave the debris at your curbside for FREE collection and disposal by the county’s debris removal contractor.

There is no need to pay a contractor for debris disposal if they leave it at your curbside. The county’s debris hauler will collect and dispose of it free of charge.

If you have questions or need further information, please call (239) 252-7575.

BOIL LIFTED: Collier County Public Utilities has lifted the precautionary boil/disinfection water notice for customers on Gulf Shore Drive.

Alert For All Private Well Owners in Flooded Areas

DOH-Collier advises residents with private wells to take precautions

Naples, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Collier County (DOH-Collier) advises residents living in homes with private wells affected by flood waters to take precautions against disease-causing organisms that may make their water unsafe to drink.

Drink only commercially bottled, both boiled and cooled, or water disinfected by another approved method until your water supply is tested and deemed safe.

Use commercially bottled water for mixing baby formula.

To be safe, you can disinfect tap water using the procedures below. Do not rely on unverified methods for decontaminating water. If water is cloudy, let it settle and filter it through a clean cloth, paper towel or coffee filter. This will help the disinfection process. If you have any extra water, put it in containers that were properly disinfected (see information below water disinfection).

The preferred method to disinfect water is to Boil Water.

  • Bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute to kill harmful bacteria and parasites.
  • To improve the flat taste of boiled water, add one pinch of salt (depending upon health conditions) to each quart or liter of water, or pour the water from one clean container to another clean container several times.

If boiling is not possible, use Household Bleach.

  • Add eight drops of plain unscented household bleach (four to six percent strength), which is about 1/8 teaspoon or a dime sized puddle, per gallon of water.
  • Do not use color safe bleach or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • If a higher strength bleach is used (up to 8.25 percent strength), only add six drops of bleach.
  • Mix the solution and let it stand for 30 minutes.
  • If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure one time.
  • If the chlorine taste is too strong, pour the water from one clean container to another and let stand for a few hours before use.

It is also possible to use other Disinfection Methods.

Note: Follow the instructions on the product label as each product may have a different strength.

  • Five drops of Iodine (two percent tincture) can be added to each quart or liter of water to be disinfected.

Note: Per the CDC, water that has been disinfected with iodine is NOT recommended for pregnant women, people with thyroid problems, those with known hypersensitivity to iodine or for continuous use for more than a few weeks at a time.

  • If the water is cloudy or colored add 10 drops of iodine.
  • Stir and let the water stand for at least 30 minutes before use.
  • Water disinfection tablets (available at sporting goods departments or stores) that contain chlorine, iodine, chlorine dioxide or other disinfecting agents may also be used.

Containers for water should be rinsed with a bleach solution of one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water before reusing them.

After the flooding subsides:

Waste Management will resume garbage and recycling collections on Monday, October 3, 2022. The City contracts with Ashbritt to pick up hurricane debris. A survey of all the debris will be done on Monday, October 3rd .

The pick-up date will be determined after the survey is completed. All debris must be sorted into categories:

• VEGETATIVE DEBRIS: All residents should place vegetative debris in a SEPARATE pile along the curb within the Right-of-Way, and not in the roadway.

DO NOT stack debris below overhead wires. Low hanging power lines and communication lines pose threats to the trucks/equipment that will be collecting debris.

DO NOT stack debris around fire hydrants, communication pedestals (Comcast and Century Link boxes, etc.), mailboxes, water meter boxes, or any other object that could be damaged by heavy equipment collecting debris.

DO NOT mix storm debris. Please keep vegetative piles separate from all other debris that may be placed in the Right-of-Way.

DO NOT place vegetative debris in plastic bags or any other containers. (All debris should be stacked in “loose” piles along the Right-of-Way)

• CONSTRUCTION & DEMOLITION DEBRIS (C&D): All residents should place construction & demolition (C&D) debris in a SEPARATE pile along the curb within the Right-of-Way, and not in the roadway. DO NOT mix storm debris. Please keep C&D debris piles separate from all other debris that may be placed within the Right-of-Way. DO NOT mix household garbage with C&D debris.

DO NOT include materials that can be considered hazardous within these piles.

• HAZARDOUS WASTE: Items such as propane tanks, paint, oils, lubricants, etc. should be in a separate pile.

• APPLIANCES & WHITE GOODS (REFRIGERATORS, DISHWASHERS, ETC.): All residents should place appliances and white goods in a SEPARATE pile along the curb within the Right-of-Way, and not in the roadway. DO NOT mix storm debris. Please keep appliances separate from all other debris that may be placed within the Right-of-Way. PLEASE remove all contents from appliances before placing in the Right-of-Way. Spoiled food items should be bagged and placed out for regular garbage collection.

• ELECTRONIC WASTE: Computers, radios, and television sets should be placed in a separate pile from appliances.

• COMMERCIAL CUSTOMERS: Please DO NOT place any horticulture debris, C&D material, or white goods within commercial front load dumpsters. ALL storm related debris should be placed in the right-of-way as requested above.

Braun, Michael


SEWER ISSUES: The Charlotte County Utilities Department is addressing low pressure sewer customer concerns as they are reported. Please be patient as we have a large number of customers who are experiencing backups and are working with our contractor on pump outs.

Once power resumes, your alarm may sound due to the high levels. Please wait approximately 30 to 40 minutes and if your alarm does not stop, please contact the Emergency Management call center at 941-743-1320 or 941-833-4000. As a reminder, please limit water usage.

TRASH: Sanitation collection of residential garbage ONLY will resume tomorrow, Wed., Oct 5. The

residential garbage will be collected once per week ONLY until further notice.

If you’re normal trash day is Wed. or Sat. it will be collected tomorrow, Wed., Oct 5. If you’re

normal trash day is Tues. or Fri. it will be collected on Thurs. Oct. 6.

Commercial garbage collection will resume on Wed., Oct 5.

Recycling will resume on Tues. Oct. 11.

Household garbage is what you normal place in your brown container with City of Punta Gorda,

consisting of ONLY bagged trash, discarded food, packing, papers.

Construction Debris, Vegetation, Hazardous Waste, White Goods and Electronics will not be

collected with the regular household trash. Instructions will come at a later time.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with the Public Works Department at (941) 575-

5050 during the hours of 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Mon. through Fri.

An insurance village has been set up by Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and the Florida Department of Financial Services to assist residents with insurance claims and other insurance needs. It operates daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Port Charlotte Town Center Mall parking lot, 1441 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte.

Homeowners who need to speak with an insurance expert can also call 1-877-693-5236, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, due to limited staffing, you are encouraged to visit the insurance village in person.

You can file a complaint online by visiting our Get Insurance Help homepage (https://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Consumers/needourhelp.htm).

Citizens Insurance Corporation Policyholders, please visit www.citizensfla.com/claims to file a claim.

For Hurricane Ian information, call the Charlotte County Emergency Operations Center at 941-833-5600 or 941-743-1320.

The curfew for Charlotte County has been amended to 10pm – 6am, effective immediately.

As the county continues to recover and areas become safer, the need for the curfew fluctuates. At this time, after evaluating the state of the county, Sheriff Prummell has made the decision to reduce the original mandate.

The Charlotte County Community Development Department is open to the public, but our services are limited. We are accepting walk-in traffic for all our services, but our phones are currently down.

Our online permitting portal is working for those who are registered with the county. We are not conducting building inspections at this time, as we are still conducting damage assessments. We will let you know when inspections will resume in the coming days.

During this local emergency declaration, we are allowing an early start on reconstruction as long as an Early Start Notification Form is filled out and submitted to the Community Development Department. You can find this form online at our permitting web page at www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov or coming to our office at 1844 Murdock Circle, Port Charlotte, FL. 33948

The Charlotte County Tax Collector Murdock Motor Services and Tax Department, located at 18500 Murdock Circle, will be open to the public at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, and will resume normal operating hours at this location beginning Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022.

All other Charlotte County Tax Collector locations are closed at this time.

Our kiosk in the Quesada Commons Publix Super Market, 19451 Cochran Blvd., is available to renew vehicle registrations and walk out with the printed registration and decal in hand. The kiosk is available during regular store hours.

Online services and additional office information may be found online at: taxcollector.charlottecountyfl.gov.

Community Development Department is open to the public, but our services are limited. We are accepting walk-in traffic for all our services, but our phones are currently down.

Our online permitting portal is working for those who are registered with the county. We are not conducting building inspections at this time, as we are still conducting damage assessments. We will let you know when inspections will resume in the coming days.

During this local emergency declaration, we are allowing an early start on reconstruction as long as an Early Start Notification Form is filled out and submitted to the Community Development Department. You can find this form online at our permitting web page at www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov or coming to our office at 1844 Murdock Circle, Port Charlotte, FL. 33948

Three food and water distribution centers opened:

· Muscle Car City Museum, 10175 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

· Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Rd., Port Charlotte, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

· Tringali, 3460 N Access Rd, Englewood, FL 34224, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Charlotte County Administration Center in Murdock is not a distribution center.

Medical site: Temporary medical site opening at the former Cultural Center of Charlotte County site to triage and treat patients following the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian.

Senior officials from the Florida Department of Health, the Charlotte County Department of Health and National Disaster Medical System experts from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will discuss the opening of facility set up by the Disaster Medical Assistance Team. Thirty-eight NDMS medical personnel – including doctors, physician assistants, nurses, paramedics, and pharmacists – are operating a stand-alone medical station in tents outside the former Cultural Center of Charlotte County.

WHERE: 2280 Aaron St., Port Charlotte, FL

The Charlotte County Utilities Department reminds all low pressure sewer customers to limit water usage during the power outage. In the event of a power outage, low pressure sewer pumps will not function. The home's wastewater will remain onsite within the interceptor tank and cannot enter the central sewer system. The onsite tank has a reserve capacity that will allow for limited water use during the outage. Please contact the Emergency Management call center at 941-743-1320 or 941-833-4000 if you are experiencing a sewer back-up. We are working to address them as soon as possible.

Once power is restored, normal water usage can resume.

CALL CENTER: Charlotte County Call Center hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The call center provides citizens with current, up-to-date Hurricane Ian information and resources.

You can reach Charlotte County Emergency Operations Center by calling 941-833-4000 or 941-743-1320. Those with internet access can find information on resources at www.charlottecountyfl.gov/ian

Debris collection: Recovery efforts are underway in response to Hurricane Ian in Charlotte County. Clearing and removing disaster debris is a major part of the recovery effort. Charlotte County Public Works asks for the resident’s cooperation to properly separate your storm debris by category and adhere to the recycling program guidelines.

It is the home and business owner’s responsibility to bring the debris to the curb and to properly separate it. Your cooperation will make this debris removal operation proceed smoothly and ensure that the community recovers as quickly as possible.

Residents should separate disaster debris into these six categories and place piles in the public right-of-way, off the road and not on private property:

  • Construction and demolition materials (non-recyclable building construction materials – drywall, asphalt shingles, plastic sinks / tubs, floor tiles, etc.; non-recyclable building contents and personal property – carpeting / rugs, furnishings, clothing, etc.)
  • Electronic Waste - e-waste discarded electrical or electronic devices. Used electronics which are destined for refurbishment, reuse, resale, salvage recycling through material recovery.
  • Household hazardous waste (paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, pesticides, etc.); please be sure these materials are in a secured container and are not leaking in any way.
  • White Goods - large home appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, driers, etc. (please follow the (name of the jurisdiction) guidelines for disposal of refrigerators. Place refrigerators curbside free of putrescent waste.
  • Vegetative materials (trees, limbs, brush, leaves, etc.) Please be advised that debris removal crews WILL NOT, enter onto private property to collect or remove debris.
  • Normal Household Trash - normal household waste, recyclables and bagged debris of any kind will not be collected with your storm debris. Please continue to follow the normal garbage removal schedule.

Please do not attempt to place garbage or other household refuse with the disaster debris, as it will not be accepted, and will delay your storm debris collections.

All MSBU/MSTU Advisory Board meetings scheduled for October have been canceled.

For Hurricane Ian information, call the Charlotte County Emergency Operations Center at 941-833-4000 or 941-743-1320.

Follow Charlotte County Emergency Management important emergency information at www.charlottecountyfl.gov, www.facebook.com/oemcharlottecounty, and www.twitter.com/ccoem.

Traffic Intersections: Any intersection without working traffic signals should be treated as a four way stop. Driving through an intersection without stopping is very dangerous.

If the traffic lights are working, obey the signal.

For Hurricane Ian information, call the Charlotte County Emergency Operations Center at 941-743-1320 or 941-833-4000.

Follow Charlotte County Emergency Management’s important emergency information at www.charlottecountyfl.gov/em, www.facebook.com/oemcharlottecounty, and www.twitter.com/ccoem.

BARRIER ISLANDS: Charlotte County emergency services are not being provided on barrier islands at this time. Fire & EMS and Sheriff’s Office personnel are not on the island and will not be deployed for emergencies.

All Charlotte County Utilities Department customers should have water service at this time. Please be aware that your water pressure may be lower than normal. As a reminder, please limit your usage, and you are currently under a boil water notice until further notice.

Please contact the Emergency Management call center at 941-743-1320 or 941-833-4000 if you do not have water, or see a large amount of water coming out of the ground, or are experiencing a sewer backup. We are working on these requests as they come in.

When to Use Disinfected Water:

Drinking - Drinking water should be disinfected before use by any humans or animals. Water from your refrigerator dispenser will also need to be disinfected. Any ice in your ice-maker should be thrown away, and no new ice made from your refrigerator should be used during the advisory. If you make ice in a tray, disinfect the water first.

Cooking - Any water to be used in cooking should be disinfected prior to use. Disinfected water should also be used to wash any food, such as fruits and vegetables. Baby formula should be prepared using disinfected water. Ensure your hands have been cleaned with disinfected water before handling any food.

Cleaning - Dishes can be hand-cleaned using tap water if they are rinsed afterward for one minute in a bleach solution made from one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of tap water. Dishes should then be left to air dry. It is safe to wash clothes in tap water.

Personal Hygiene - General hand-washing can be done with tap water and soap; however, if you will be in contact with food use disinfected water to prevent any contamination to prepared food. If you have any open cuts, wounds, or sores, disinfected water should be used when cleaning the afflicted area. Individuals who have had recent surgery, have a chronic illness, or are immunosuppressed may want to use disinfected water for any personal hygiene to ensure health. While tap water is safe for bathing and showering, care should be taken not to allow water in the eyes, nose, or mouth to prevent pathogens from entering your body. Children and disabled individuals should be supervised when bathing to ensure no water is ingested. Disinfected water should be used for brushing teeth. Tap water is safe for shaving as long as care is taken to prevent water from entering the eyes, nose, mouth, or shaving cuts.

Reunification Assistance: If you need help connecting with your loved ones after Hurricane Ian, the American Red Cross can assist you. The Reunification Plan tools can help if assistance is needed locating a missing friend or relative because of a current disaster.

Call 1-800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and provide as much detail as you can to assist us in potentially locating your missing loved one. Alternatively, you can submit your information via forms (English and Spanish available) found online at COADFL.org


PODS CLOSED: All Highlands County points of distribution are now closed.

DEBRIS: Debris hauling is set to begin on Monday, Oct. 3, giving all residents time to get their debris to the right-of-way before trucks are in your neighborhood.

Do not place debris in roadways or close to permanent objects like trees, mailboxes, storm drains, and power lines. The trucks will be going road by road. Large claw trucks, like the one pictured, cannot move through narrow roads or navigate around other objects.

About 30 hurricane debris removal haulers are now rolling into Highlands County. All drivers must be certified for FEMA before they can pick up your hurricane debris.

Hurricane debris is not collected by our local hauler. If you mix your hurricane debris with your regular garbage, your household garbage or yard and bulk waste will not be picked up!


Wastewater System Repairs Continue: Manatee County residents and visitors are still being asked to “refrain from the drain” to limit wastewater system impacts.

205 of the county’s 738 lift stations (which move sewage from a lower-to-higher elevation facilities to wastewater treatment plants) were offline or without power as of 8 a.m. today (Friday).

WGCU is your trusted source for news and information in Southwest Florida. We are a nonprofit public service, and your support is more critical than ever. Keep public media strong and donate now. Thank you.