FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: A spray painted sign reads "Floridian Strong" among debris in the wake of Hurricane Ian on October 3, 2022 in Fort Myers, Florida. The death toll in the state from Ian rose to at least 100 today following the storm making landfall as Category 4 hurricane, causing extensive damage along the coast as rescue crews continued the search for survivors. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Hurricane Ian update from Lee County for Friday afternoon, Oct. 7


Lee County lifts countywide curfew; municipal curfews may remain

 Fort Myers, FL, Oct. 7, 2022 – Lee County has rescinded the countywide curfew put in place immediately following Hurricane Ian. A curfew remains in place from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily on Pine Island and Captiva.


The Lee County School District aims to resume classes on October 17th.


Here is a recap of today’s updates:

Water service:

· The Boil Water Notice is still in place for your protection and public health. It will continue until further notice.

· As water service normalizes, customers should be aware that we may experience some issues on the wastewater side. Please report any leaks to your utility provider.


Road safety and traffic signal restoration efforts:

· 75% of county’s roughly 450 signals are functioning. Please remember an intersection is a four way stop when traffic signals are not working or flashing.

· Crews from Lee County Department of Transportation continue to assess area roads and bridges. The following bridges are closed: Sanibel Causeway, New Pass, Big Carlos Pass Bridge and Big Hickory Pass Bridge.


Shelters: There are about 900 people currently in our shelters.

Still open:

· Estero Recreation Center, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd, Estero

· Hertz Arena, 11000 Everblades Parkway, Estero


Closing this afternoon:

· South Fort Myers High School, 14020 Plantation Road


Services for residents:

· Free food and water –

Nine active Points of Distribution, open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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

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

Yesterday, Oct. 6, more than 21,200 people were served.


Resource centers –

· Multi-Agency Resource Center at Lakes Regional Library, 15290 Bass Road, Fort Myers, open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Saturday. Co-located with Disaster Recovery Center at Lakes Regional Library.

Participating organizations onsite include:

Property insurance companies

Local and state government offices (with the ability to replace driver’s licenses, birth certificates, etc.)

Wireless providers

Mental healthcare providers

Nonprofit organizations.

View participating agencies at

Also available is the Initial Payment Center operated by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. Policyholders can meet directly with their insurance companies to file claims. In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, insurance carriers will focus on the immediate needs of policy holders by providing resources for specific items including living expenses.

Residents should check in with staff upon arrival at the Lakes Regional Library site to easily locate the resources they need.

· An additional Disaster Recovery Center also opened today at 2295 Victoria Ave., Fort Myers.


Temporary housing –

· A key place to start for temporary housing is registering for FEMA individual assistance at It can provide temporary rental assistance.

· Other federal programs will be made available. Lee County will work with the federal government as well as state and local partners to support displaced residents.

· Lee County departmental staff, such as Human & Veteran Services, are already actively making plans to help residents in shelters transition to housing.


Damage assessment estimates –

· Damage assessment efforts are still ongoing.


Debris –

· More than 50 trucks with trailers on the road and 50 more on the way to collect debris.

· Four sites to self-haul debris are still open. Visit for locations.

· While staying at home and cleaning storm-related yard waste:

Stack it separately from garbage or building debris.

Yard waste does not need to be bundled after the storm.

Place it in piles that can easily be managed by collection personnel with a claw truck.

Do not place any waste below overhead obstacles such as trees or powerlines or near hydrants or mailboxes.


Debris info for Pine Island specifically –

· Waste Pro, Lee County’s contracted hauler for Pine Island, will be on Pine Island on Monday, Oct. 10, to collect household garbage. This collection to help with the health and safety of residents.


· If residents live on a road that is inaccessible to truck traffic, they can bring garbage sealed in plastic bags to the closest accessible point. Waste Pro crews will handle it from there.


· Trucks will begin rolling at daylight and will spend the day on Pine Island to remove household garbage.


· Structural and vegetative debris will be collected in the near future by the county’s contracted emergency debris hauler.


Marine update –

· The US Coast Guard urges you to report observations of oil spills and discharges of hazardous materials should be reported to the National Response Center. Visit our website for contact information.

· Removing debris from coastal waters is going to be a long process and we are working with our state partners to accomplish that task.

· Lee County Parks and Recreation boat ramps remain closed until further notice.


Lee County Parks –

· Please refrain from visiting our parks and playgrounds this weekend.

· County staff continue to assess our sites for safety.


Safety reminders –

· If you’re still using a generator, remember to keep it outdoors,10 to 20 feet away from the house.


Pets –

· The mobile veterinary clinic located at Terry Park, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

· The lost and found department at the Lee County Domestic Animal Services is open to reunite pets with their families.


Hospitality and tourism –

· Southwest Florida International Airport reopened this week with limited operations.

· Visitor & Convention Bureau staff is reaching out to our hotel partners to accommodate first responders during this time of recovery.


Donations/volunteering –

· Monetary donations can be made at; click on the red “donate” button. Please do not bring donated items to hurricane shelters.

· Contact UnitedWay for volunteer opportunities at 2-1-1 or 239-433-3900.


Lee County opened an Emergency Building, Driveway, ROW and Well Repair Permitting operation post-Hurricane Ian earlier this week on the first floor of 2115 Second St., downtown Fort Myers.

Homeowners and Contractors need to know the following information prior to arriving at the site:

· Unincorporated Lee County will open ALL Building, Driveway, ROW, and Well Repair Permitting Services beginning Monday, Oct. 10.

· For building permits, hours and dates will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

· For well-repair permits, hours and days will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday until further notice.

· Permitting is prioritizing repairs to existing habitable buildings and repair to wells due to Hurricane Ian. Other permit applications will be processed but will be done so as resources allow.

· ALL inspections will resume Monday, Oct. 10, with priority given to Hurricane Ian- related repair. Next day inspections may not be possible. Fire Districts may not be performing inspections.

· Permit fees waived for permits for repair of Hurricane Damage until further notice.

· Lee County is working diligently to bring back Building Services in a responsible way to assist residents and businesses to the maximum extent possible by maximizing resources to help the most customers possible.

· A specific landing page has been set up for more information:

· Contractors who typically file for permits online are asked to continue to use that process. The temporary emergency operation location is intended for homeowners.


Update regarding travel to Matlacha-Pine Island

Lee County would like to share with the public an update related to access to the Matlacha-Pine Island area. The following is from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office:

In the interest of rebuilding Matlacha-Pine Island as quickly as possible, today LCSO is removing processes that slowed westbound traffic Thursday when the road and bridges reopened. Those processes reduced the efficiently of rebuilding the infrastructure of the island for residents in need.

However, residents should not be concerned about safety or property, as LCSO has reallocated additional resources to the island for the protection of life and property beginning immediately. LCSO will also coordinate with its multi-jurisdictional law enforcement partners to further enhance safety for Pine Island residents.

Be aware, when people on the island encounter law enforcement, they may be asked for documentation. Be aware of the following:

· Residents should have a driver’s license, utility bill, lease or other proof of residency with them.

· Supply vendors – such as those with water, fuel and groceries – will need to present an Emergency Operations Center-issued mission number.

· Those who are contractors for individual property owners and those who are with insurance companies, etc, will need to show documentation that states the address with which they are affiliated.

Law enforcement will not be checking Public Safety personnel or utility providers, tele-communications companies and garbage/debris haulers.

This is effective immediately. As needed, LCSO will evaluate the need to implement further restrictions to meet the needs of the island residents.

Background: The roadway and temporary bridges installed by the Florida Department of Transportation opened Wednesday afternoon.


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

Lee County is consolidating its shelter operations today 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 Parkway, Estero

The residents staying in the following shelter will be relocated the Estero Recreation Center:

· South Fort Myers High School, 14020 Plantation Road, Fort Myers

Evacuees will have the option of moving using their own vehicles or LeeTran shuttles.


Check for Hurricane Ian updates. Furth info can be found at our  Southwest Florida Emergency Relief Fund


Hurricane Ian Donation Sites In SWFL

More and more Hurricane Ian donation sites in SWFL are opening. We have been flooded with inquiries as to where people can donate goods.

Some organizations have asked for very specific supplies. To make sure your donations make the most impact, please take a minute to look at the lists. Keep in mind, cleaning out your closet, your kitchen drawers, your garage, or your kid’s toy chest, while well intended, may cause more problems than help.


After every disaster of major proportion, government officials say there is a secondary disaster. It’s the mounds and mounds of unused clothing and other items that come pouring in. However, this is not the time for a massive spring cleaning. It’s a time to be thoughtful about what you are giving.

Some gently worn clothing is OK. Used under garments and socks are not. These need to be new. The old adage “something is better than nothing,” is not necessarily the case. Consider what you are about to donate as if it were a donation for yourself. If you were left with only the clothing on your back, would you give them up for an arm stained shirt?

Most needed

For those who are staying in shelters, basic hygiene items are greatly needed. Cleaning wipes, toothpaste, tooth brushes, soap, tissues, towels, contact solution, diapers, feminine hygiene supplies, and such.

You may have a favorite charitable organization to donated too. If not, many business and communities are holding supply drives. While it is nearly impossible to list them all, we have a few of them here. Check out these Hurricane Ian donation sites in SWFL. We will continue to update this list as much as possible.

On behalf of those in need, we thank you for anything and everything you can do to help. Both in this immediate, more short term crisis. And also in the weeks, months and even years to come.

And for lots more Hurricane Ian info, click here.

  • Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida

    Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida is looking for donations of school supplies to help both students and teachers impacted by Ian in Lee, Collier and Charlotte Counties.

    Think basic supplies such as crayons, filler paper, glue sticks, backpacks, scissors and construction paper. In addition, tissues and sanitizing wipes are needed. Drop off supplies until Dec 1st at the Fort Myers Office: 13241 University Dr.,  Suite 102. 239-225-2590

  • Community Cooperative

    Community Cooperative is committed to helping Southwest Florida recover from the catastrophic impacts of Hurricane Ian. Our hearts and prayers go out to those impacted. This organization will be here to assist those in need with getting their lives back on track after the storm. 

  • Avow Hospice

    We forget about organizations such as Hospice, continuing to serve terminally ill patients and their families. Donations needed include towels, sheets, air mattresses, pillows, personal hygiene supplies of toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, deodorant, wipes, non-perishable food, water, Gatorade, cleaning supplies, trash bags, first aid supplies, batteries, flashlights, battery and cell phone chargers, portable fans, blue tarps, paper towels and toilet paper. Also consider giving gift cards ($25 denominations best)  for gas, grocery, Walmart, and Target.

    Avow is located at 1095 Whippoorwill Lane, Naples

  • Cajun Navy

    Cajun Navy from Louisiana is in Fort Myers providing hot meals every day for people in need. accepting canned food donations, baby supplies, cleaning supplies, water bottles, and trash cans from now until Oct. 14. You can drop off supplies from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 17105 San Carlos Blvd.

  • Conservancy of Southwest Florida von Arx Wildlife Hospital

    Taking care of animals injured in Hurricane Ian, the Conservancy has a few needs. Donations can be dropped off in front of the wildlife hospital, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples.

    • Towels (most needed)
    • Reusable ice packs
    • Romaine lettuce
    • Apples
    • Carrots
    • Corn
    • Oranges
    • Bleach
    • Detergent
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Carbon filters
    • D batteries
    • Heavy-duty extension cords, 25ft or greater
    • Heavy duty surge protectors
  • Family Initiative

    Family Initiative is seeking donations of nonperishable food items, cases of water, batteries, or financial contributions.

    Autism Support Center, located at 734 SW 4th St., is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you are unable to deliver, Family Initiative can arrange pick up as well as the distribution of goods to families, if possible.

  • Studio+

    They’ve partnered with The American Institute of Architects (AIA) to collect items at their  office in Gateway. Looking for: Towels, Clothes, Food, Bleach, Hand Sanitizer, Reusable Ice Packs, Carbon Filters, D-Batteries, Heavy Duty Extension Cords, 25’ or Greater, Heavy Duty Surge Protectors.

    12271 Towne Lake Drive, Fort Myers

  • TwinCutz

    TwinCutz barber shop collecting clothing donations Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.for all ages at the following locations:

    • Coconut Point (Estero): 23050 Via Villagio, Suite 123
    • Gulf Coast Town Center (Fort Myers): 9918 Gulf Coast Main St., Unit 140
    • Daniels Parkway (Fort Myers): 6900 Daniels Parkway, Unit 18
    • Naples: 5038 Airport-Pulling Road
  • Cape Christian Food & Supplies Distribution

    Cape Christian is updating its needs and volunteer lists. They now need volunteers to help with roof repairs for single story homes. Specifically shingle damage. If you can lend a hand to Cape Coral residents call 203-314-5903. Donations needed now include:

    • Rolls of 4’x250′ Plasfelt Synthetic Underlayment
      Rolls of 4’x250′ Dupont Tyvek Protective Underlayment
      HT50 Hammer Tackers
      750 Staples for Hammer Tackers
      Furring Strips
      Cap Nails
  • Elite DNA

    Elite DNA is taking donations of non-perishable food items, gently used clothing, baby products, first aid supplies, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items.

    These donations can be made at any of the 25 Elite DNA location across the state. Click here for locations.

  • Hertz Arena UPDATE

    Hertz Arena has closed the shelter

Joe Winner spends his days combing through memes and off beat stories to bring you the side of Florida not always seen.

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