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Lee County consolidates shelters, moves remaining residents to former Publix in North Fort Myers

Hurricane Ian
Jay Reeves/AP
Cots cover the floor of Hertz Arena, an ice hockey venue that has been transformed into a massive relief shelter, in Estero, Fla., on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. More than 500 people were still housed at the arena more than a week after Hurricane Ian struck the Southwest Florida coast.

The remaining displaced residents in Lee County will be moved to a single location, a former Publix building in North Fort Myers.

A county official said the move is part of an effort to work with the Florida Department of Emergency Management on a longer-term solution to Hurricane Ian sheltering operations.

The county will move the remaining displaced residents at the Hertz Arena and Estero Recreation shelters in a phased approach this week.

Evacuees will be relocated to the newly opened shelter in the Del Tura Plaza, a former Publix location, at 18900 North Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers.

Lee County will continue to work with non-profits, local, state and federal partners to provide services to the evacuees.

Evacuees at Hertz Arena will depart throughout the day Wednesday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. These transitions will continue until all evacuees are moved.

The Estero Recreation shelter will transition later in the week. LeeTran will provide transportation to the new shelter.

The State of Florida will manage the new shelter with its contractor, CDR Maguire.

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