HURRICANE HELP: Local resources for storm recovery

2022-10-08 11:02:22 By : Ms. Ellen. CAI

• Lee County rescinded the countywide curfew put in place immediately following Hurricane Ian.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. Individual municipalities may have curfews still in place.

• A Boil Water Notice is still in place for Lee County, and will continue until further notice.

• Lee 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 the Estero Recreation Center, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd., and Hertz Arena, 1100 Everblades Parkway, in Estero. The residents staying at the South Fort Myers High School shelter will be relocated to the Estero Recreation Center. Evacuees will have the option of moving using their own vehicles or LeeTran shuttles.

• The Charlotte County Emergency Management Operations Call Center will continue operating with new hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Saturday. For Hurricane Ian information, call the Charlotte County Emergency Operations Center at 941-833-4000 or 941-743-1320.

• Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers will resume full operations Tuesday. Concessions will have limited food and beverage and other items may be in short supply. Although restrooms will be open, there will be no drinking water available in the terminal until the boil water notice in our area has been lifted.  

• The Fort Myers Yacht Basin was deemed unsafe and uninhabitable by city of Fort Myers building official s and was closed until safe conditions are returned to the facility, city officials said . At this time, approximately 40 residents are believed to have returned to the basin. All residents were notified regarding the closure. The electrical system throughout the facility is severely damaged with lines exposed and power systems are in the water, according to city officials. The electrical meter panel ripped off the external wall of the building structure. The entire electrical system requires the immediate attention of a specialized electrical contractor/engineer to determine the magnitude of commanded repairs. In addition, the fire department reports it cannot access resources necessary to fight a fire, rendering the liveaboards without essential fire protection. Other damages include the failure of the pump system, destroyed docks, distressed bo ats and extensive flooding of the office/store building.  

• Cape Coral has issued a temporary burn ban to limit fire hazards within the city. The measure prohibits recreational and city-permitted burns and includes burning vegetative debris left behind by Hurricane Ian. Fires solely for cooking purposes where the fire, flames and heat generated are contained within the device being used are permitted. The burn ban will remain in effect until the conditions of recovery from Hurricane Ian improve. The Cape Coral Fire Department also posted a warning to homeowners to turn off the main breaker to their home before power is restored.

• The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers activated Operation Blue Roof to provide temporary blue tarp-like covering to help reduce further damage to property until permanent repairs can be made. This service is free to homeowners in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Lee and Sarasota counties, and the initial sign-up period lasts until Oct. 23. Operation Blue Roof protects property, reduces temporary housing costs, and allows residents to remain in their homes while recovering from the storm. Homes eligible for Operation Blue Roof include primary residences or a permanently occupied rental property with less than 50% structural damage, excluding vacation rental properties. All storm debris must be removed for the roof to qualify. Roofs that are flat, metal, clay, slate, or asbestos tile do not qualify.

• Cape Coral City Hall will reopen on Tuesday for regular business hours.

• LeeTran reintroduced limited, modified bus services on Friday, with core North/South, East/West routes that will service major LeeTran transfer hubs. These routes include the 10, 30, 50, 60, 70, 100, 120, 140, 240,110/515 (interlined route). Bus fares will be waived during this modified service until further notice. Riders should not use the mobile app as it will not display accurate information until regular service resumes. Customer Service at Rosa Parks and LeeTran Headquarters reopened on Friday. Some stops may be missed due to road closures, obstructions or safety issues. Routes may be delayed.  

Details about temporary service for the available routes are:

LeeTran also reintroduced limited, ADA Paratransit service beginning Friday. Service will be available only for the fulfillment of life-sustaining transportation needs such as medical, pharmacy and grocery trips. Service will be available from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. until further notice. To make a reservation, please call 239-533-0300.

• Residents of Bonita Springs who want to file insurance claims or to request FEMA assistance online may go to the courtyard area outside the Bonita Springs Public Library, 10560 Reynolds St., and log on to the Lee County Guest Wi-Fi. No password is required. Users simply need to agree to the terms of service to log on. Service may be intermittent at times. Residents previously reported that a reliable connection was difficult to find. Comcast/Xfinity is also working to establish Wi-Fi hotspots in the area.

• Florida Licensing on Wheels’ mobile location is providing residents with no-fee replacement driver licenses, identification cards and titles. FLOW is at Port Charlotte Town Center Mall, 1441 Tamiami Trail, and will operate 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will operate seven days a week.

• Southland Trail, Hickory Bluff, Lt. Carl A. Bailey and Indian Spring cemeteries in Charlotte County are closed to the public until further notice.

• All Lee County Parks & Recreation boat ramps remain closed until further notice as the facilities and surrounding waterways are assessed.

• The city of Cape Coral opened a hygiene station at Cape Coral Technical College, 360 Santa Barbara Blvd. N. It is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Residents must bring their own shower supplies, toiletries and towels. Charging and cooling stations are also available. Laundry services are on-site where residents can drop off laundry and be notified when it’s ready for pickup.

• The city of Sanibel has expanded its policy about access to the island to include insurance adjusters. Insurance adjusters must provide a state insurance adjuster license and proof of each assigned Sanibel claim to the adjuster, including the name of insured, insured’s address and claim number. This information should be emailed to [email protected] . Upon processing the request, an email notification will be provided to the requestor, indicating either a Sanibel hurricane reentry pass is available for pickup, with proper government ID, at the temporary Sanibel City Hall, Crowne Plaza Hotel , 13051 Bell Tower Drive in F ort Myers; or the request was rejected for specified reasons. Upon pickup of the Sanibel reentry pass, the adjuster will be authorized to travel under their own power and at their own risk to the assigned properties, so long as they have in their possession, and produce upon request, their Sanibel reentry pass. If an adjuster is assigned new Sanibel claims, the adjuster must provide the same claim-related information as initially required, prior to the adjuster accessing those newly assigned properties. Those notifications should also be provided via email to andrea [email protected]  

• The Village of Estero online permitting system is operational, with emergency permitting available . Building repairs not requiring a permit include screen replacement and window or door glass replacement. Structural components of a lanai require a permit as do entire window or door frame replacement. Roof repairs, drywall replaceme nt over 100 square feet, all structural components and fence replacement require a permit.   For all work done on an emergency basis that normally requires a permit, application s should be made within 24 hours of the commencement of repairs, if possible.  

• Following the impacts of Hurricane Ian, the Florida Department of Financial Services deployed two Initial Payment Centers in Fort Myers and Port Charlotte, where insurance carriers will be on hand to assist residents with the insurance claims process. The Port Charlotte Initial Payment Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Port Charlotte Town Center parking lot, 1441 Tamiami Trail, and the Fort Myers Initial Payment Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Lakes Regional Library, 15290 Bass Road. The Fort Myers Initial Payment Center is part of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Disaster Recovery Center, which is a one-stop-shop and collocated with more than 10 agencies to provide services to individuals and businesses impacted by Hurricane Ian. Initial Payment Centers allow policyholders to meet directly with their insurance companies to file claims, and for the insurance companies to issue checks to Floridians impacted by the storm. 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. Policyholders should bring as much documentation as they can, including a driver’s license or other forms of identification, insurance cards and insurance policy information/documentation, pictures or documentation of property being claimed as a loss resulting from Hurricane Ian and any additional insurance-related information that is readily accessible.

• Charlotte County Utilities Department rescinded the boil water notice for Burnt Store Service Area customers only. The water is now safe for consumption.

• Gov. Ron DeSantis announced additional resources that have been deployed to support the Dunbar community in Fort Myers. The Florida Division of Emergency Management deployed a 6,000-gallon mobile refueling station located at the Stars Complex, 2980 Edison Ave. The fueling station will remain at this address until 4 p.m. Thursday. The agency also delivered water and ice, which is available at the Stars Complex. The Florida Digital Service is deploying SpaceX Starlink units to set up mobile internet cafes in locations including the Stars Complex.  

• The city of Sanibel began allowing reentry Wednesday for residents to the island post-Hurricane Ian. Those who wish to travel to, from or about the island must do so with their own resources and at their own risk. The boat ramps at Punta Rassa and Port Comfort are not available for launch. Individuals. The Sanibel Boat Ramp and the ramp within the Ding Darling preserve (Tarpon Bay Explorers) are not available for landing and debarking. There is no ground transportation on the island. Private barges may not access the island at this time, unless explicitly authorized by the city manager. No motorized equipment or generators are permitted on island at this time. A curfew is in effect 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.  

Residents must have a current Sanibel Hurricane Reentry pass or a valid Florida driver’s license showing a Sanibel address. Sanibel residents who do not have a Hurricane reentry pass may obtain one at Temporary City Hall at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 13051 Bell Tower Drive, in Fort Myers. Business Owners must have a current Sanibel Hurricane Reentry pass (commercial). Sanibel business owners that do not have a Hurricane Reentry pass may obtain one at Temporary City Hall. A valid 2022 or 2023 Sanibel Business Tax Receipt must be presented to receive a pass.  

• Charlotte County Utilities Department is temporarily suspending late fees and water shut-offs for non-payment until further notice.

• Bonita Springs Utilities Inc. has restored water service to 100% of its service area, including Bonita Beach. Customers north of Forester Drive are subject to a boil water advisory. No customers outside of Bonita Beach have a boil water requirement.

• The city of Naples Utilities Department completed the required water sampling of its entire drinking water system, which indicates that the drinking water is safe. The city of Naples has now lifted the precautionary boil water notice for all customers located within its drinking water service area, which includes all of the city of Naples and a portion of Collier County. The city’s drinking water service area extends south from Pine Ridge Road/Seagate Drive, and west of Livingston Road.

• Collier County Public Utilities has lifted the precautionary boil/disinfection water notice for residents of The Strand at Bay Colony in North Naples. There are currently no boil water notices for customers of the Collier County Water District.

• The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced 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 is available to state 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. To file a claim, click here, visit a local CareerSource Career Center or call 1-800-385-3920.

• The Florida Department of Health in Collier County 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.

• Page Field in Fort Myers opened to general aviation traffic on Tuesday. The hours of operation starting Wednesday will be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., which is the same time the a ir t raffic c ontrol t ower will be staffed, until further notice. Base Operations at Page Field will reopen with reduced hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. No after-hours FBO service will be offered at this time, with the exception of government, medical service and humanitarian aid operations. Self-serve 100LL fueling is available on the Southeast Ramp.  

• Lee County opened an Emergency Building and Well Repair Permitting operation post-Hurricane Ian on Wednesday at the Department of Community Development building in downtown Fort Myers. Unincorporated Lee County will open limited Emergency Building and Well Repair Permitting Services at 9 a.m. Wednesday. The Temporary permitting office is set up at 2115 Second St. on the first floor. 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 limited to repairs to existing habitable buildings and repair to wells due to Hurricane Ian. Permit applications must be storm related. Lee County is working to expedite permits for most types of work. Permit fees will be waived until further notice. A specific landing page has been set up for more information here. Contractors, who typically file for permits online, are asked to continue to use that process. This emergency operation is intended for homeowners.

• Allegiant’s flight operations resumed at Punta Gorda Airport on Monday. Passengers traveled through the Bailey Terminal for inbound and outbound flights for Cincinnati , Allentown, P enns ; Flint , Michigan ; and Indianapolis from Monday afternoon into the evening. The Bailey Terminal sustained minimal damage, so during the last week staff and contractors have been working to clean the facility and make minor repairs. Allegiant is planning to continue operating flights at PGD for the foreseeable future, however, passengers should check directly with Allegiant’s website, app or email for potential changes to their itineraries.  

• Collier County public schools resumed classes on Thursday.

• Collier County parks and libraries opened Tuesday.

• Collier County curfew is midnight to 6 a.m. 

• City of Naples curfew is 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

• Charlotte County curfew was amended to 10 p.m. to  6 a.m.

• Florida Licensing on Wheels will be stationed at Hertz Arena, 11000 Everblades Parkway, Estero, to assist Lee County residents who need replacement driver licenses, identification cards and titles. All fees will be waived, and no documents are necessary to issue replacements. The mobile unit is available 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days a week.

• Waste Pro, Lee County’s contracted hauler for Pine Island, will be on Pine Island on Monday 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.

• Charlotte County Public Works contractors are removing vegetative storm debris. It is the home and business owner’s responsibility to bring the debris to the curb and to properly separate it. For this post-storm pickup, do not put vegetative debris in bags because it will not be picked up. Debris that is not properly separated will not be picked up. 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:

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

• Collier County residents now have the option to take their hurricane yard debris, free of charge, to four recycling drop-off centers. These locations are open only to Collier County residents with proper identification. Debris will not be accepted from businesses or contractors. The locations, which are open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, are the Marco Island Recycling Drop-Off Center, 990 Chalmer Drive ; Naples Airport Recycling Drop-Off Center, 2640 Corporate Flight Road; Tim Nance Collier County Recycling Center, 825 39th Ave NE; and Immokalee Transfer Station, 700 Stockade Road. Residents can also choose to leave hurricane debris curbside for collection. Hurricane debris should be placed in separate piles of yard waste, construction and demolition (furniture, carpet), household hazardous waste, electronic waste and appliances.  

• The Charlotte County Landfill is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Located at 29751 Zeme l Road in Punta Gorda, the landfill accepts credit cards only. Mid-County Mini-Transfer and Recycling Facility, 19765 Kenilworth Blvd., in Port Charlotte opened Thursday and will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily  for residential drop-off only . This facility accepts white goods, storm-related yard or vegetation debris and construction and demolition debris from residential properties. Due to limited maneuvering space, trailers cannot exceed 12 feet in length. The West Charlotte Mini-Transfer and Recycling Facility in Englewood remains closed.  

• Lee County opened four sites for residents who want to haul yard waste or construction and demolition debris; go to 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 commercial businesses are encouraged to take storm debris to the Waste-to-Energy Facility, 10500 Buckingham Road, where it will be charged by weight. It will be open regular hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. 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.

• Lee County Solid Waste garbage collection resumed 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 such as everyday trash items and spoiled food. Collection of recycling will resume at a later time.  

• Charlotte County residents needing assistance cleaning up damage from Hurricane Ian can call 1-800-451-1954. Crisis Cleanup will connect them with volunteers from local relief organizations, community groups and faith communities who may be able to assist with cutting up fallen trees, drywall, flooring and appliance removal to curb, tarping roofs, debris removal to curb and mold mitigation. All services are free, but service is not guaranteed due to overwhelming need. The 1-800-451-1954 hotline will remain open through Oct. 28.

• Lee County reports 75% of its roughly 450 traffic signals are functioning.

• 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.

• In the interest of rebuilding Matlacha-Pine Island as quickly as possible, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office removed processes that slowed westbound traffic Thursday when the road and bridges to the island reopened. Those processes reduced the efficiency of rebuilding the infrastructure of the island for residents in need. The sheriff’s office said residents should not be concerned about safety or property, as it has reallocated additional resources to the island for the protection of life and property beginning Frida y. LCSO will also coordinate with its multi-jurisdictional law enforcement partners to further enhance safety for Pine Island residents. Those on the island may be asked by law enforcement for documentation. Law enforcement will not be checking p ublic s afety personnel or utility providers, tele-communications companies and garbage/debris haulers. As needed, the sheriff’s office will evaluate the need to implement further restrictions to meet the needs of the island residents.  

• Gov. Ron DeSantis along with the Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared W. Perdue announced the early completion of emergency road and bridge repairs for Pine Island. Governor DeSantis directed FDOT to work with Lee County to expedite work and complete repairs by Oct. 8. Work began on Monday and FDOT crews worked to finish the repairs in monumental timing in less than three days.

• Gov. Ron DeSantis directed the Florida Department of Transportation to prioritize repairs to the Sanibel Causeway. These are needed for first responders and Sanibel residents to access the island, as well as other recovery efforts such as power restoration and debris removal. The contract for the bridge repair was awarded Tuesday. It is anticipated to have the Sanibel Causeway accessible by the end of the month. Once immediate recovery efforts have subsided, permanent long-term repairs will be made to the causeway. The emergency repairs being done now will offer a safe passage for immediate access and will also be incorporated into long-term repair plans. This means that repairs being done now will tie into work that will be needed for permanent repairs.  

• These bridges remain closed south of Fort Myers Beach and  north of Bonita Beach : 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.    

• FPL power outage map:  

• Motorist tips: If a traffic signal is out, treat the intersection as a four-way stop. Do not drive through flood waters.  

• Florida and the Federal Emergency Management Agency activated the Transitional Sheltering Assistance  program for Hurricane Ian survivors in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia counties. Survivors from these counties who have applied for disaster assistance may be eligible to shelter in a hotel or motel paid for by FEMA. They may be eligible for TSA if they cannot return to their home and their housing needs cannot be met by insurance, shelters or rental assistance provided by FEMA or another agency (federal, state or nonprofit).

Survivors will be notified of their eligibility through an automated phone call, text message and/or email, depending upon the method of communication they selected when they applied for assistance. Under the TSA program, FEMA pays the cost of room, taxes and non-refundable pet fees directly to participating hotels and motels. Survivors are responsible for all other costs, including laundry, room service, parking, telephone, food, transportation and other services.

• Lee BIA Builders Care is rallying local builders and support from the community to provide emergency construction services at no cost to needy and deserving elderly and/or disabled homeowners impacted by Hurricane Ian. Builders Care is providing a range of services to homeowners in need, including roof tarping, water damage mitigation, window replacement, AC repair, roof repairs, property debris and tree cleanup, plumbing repairs, electrical repairs, wheelchair ramp rebuilds and delivery of food, water and other essentials. The nonprofit has established a Hurricane Ian Builders Care Relief Fund to support hurricane relief efforts and is accepting donations at . All donations will go directly to serving elderly and/or disabled homeowners in need of critical home repairs following Hurricane Ian.  

• The Pendas Law Firm is providing an outreach with their disaster relief center. The firm specializes in helping Floridians with property damage claims, arising from the recent hurricane and other natural disasters. The Pendas Law Firm relief center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 4244 Evans Ave in Fort Myers. The staff is available to answer questions, set up intakes, provide valuable information, assist with calculating damages from the storm and sign up new clients. Water and supplies will be supplied on a first come, first serve basis.  

• The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program policyholders are beginning to receive funds to help jumpstart their recovery. To date, FEMA has provided $3.5 million in advance payments to policyholders who have started the claim process. There are NFIP policies in Florida where the renewal date has passed, but policyholders may be able to take steps that will reinstate their policy and receive coverage for flood damage from Hurricane Ian. Policyholders based in Florida who had flood damage from the hurricane now have a 90-day grace period to renew their policies. The extension applies to policies with renewal dates beginning Aug. 25, 2022, through and including Oct. 23, 2022.  Policyholders whose NFIP policy renewal date is within this range should contact their agent or insurance company. Additionally, the NFIP extended the proof of loss requirement for policyholders who suffered flood damage from Hurricane Ian from the standard 60 days to 365 days from the date of loss.  

• Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, making $50 million available with at least $10 million going to small businesses that are agricultural producers impacted by Hurricane Ian in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, and Volusia counties. Small businesses in the most impacted counties — Charlotte, Collier, Lee, and Sarasota — will be escalated and prioritized as they are received. The program, administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, provides short-term, zero-interest loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury or physical damage due to Hurricane Ian. Interested applicants can apply through Dec. 2, or until all available funds are expended. Eligible small businesses may apply for loans of up to $50,000 through the program by clicking here.

• Those who’ve been affected by Hurricane Ian who live in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Seminole counties can apply for federal assistance by clicking here, by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or by using the FEMA App. Survivors using a relay service, such as a video relay service, captioned telephone service or others, can give the FEMA operator the number for that service. When you apply ing for assistance, provide a  current phone number , an address at the time of the disaster and an address where the survivor is staying now, a Social Security number, a general list of damage and losses, banking information if choosing direct deposit and, if insured, a policy number or the insurance agent and/or company name.  

• The Humane Society of America is operating an animal needs supplies drive-thru in the Mid County Regional Library parking lot until Oct. 14. Residents can pick up foods for a variety of pets between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day at 2050 Forrest Nelson Blvd. In Port Charlotte.  

• Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at Bell Tower will host a disaster relief distribution at noon on Friday, a collaborative effort with iHeart Radio, the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, All-Star Equipment Rental and Bell Tower to help families affected and displaced by Hurricane Ian. Crowne Plaza, 13051 Bell Tower Drive in Fort Myers, and volunteers will begin distributing two semi-trucks full of donations at noon until supplies last. Donations will include food, water and other essential supplies to meet the growing need in Southwest Florida.

• The Red Cross is distributing water, food and cleanup kits at St. Mary’s Baptist Church, 605 Mary St., in Punta Gorda from noon to 6 p.m. every day while supplies last.

• Lee County along with state and federal partners continue opening Points of Distribution for hurricane-impacted residents who need food and water. The newest POD is at Coral Oaks Golf Course, 1800 Northwest 28th Ave., in Cape Coral. Others are Old Bonita Library, 26876 Pine Ave., in Bonita Springs; Kelly Road Soccer Complex, 10750 Kelly Road, in Fort Myers; Cape Coral Sports Complex, 1410 Sports Blvd., in Cape Coral; Cape Coral Leonard Street, 4820 Leonard St., in Cape Coral; Estero High School Ballfield Park, 9100 Williams Road, in Estero; North Fort Myers Recreation Center, 2000 N. Recreation Park Way, in North Fort Myers; Fleamasters Fleamarket, 4135 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., in Fort Myers; and Veterans Park Recreation Center, 55 Homestead Road S., in Lehigh Acres. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

• The city of Cape Coral is offering free potable water to Cape Coral residents from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily at both Diplomat Middle School, 1039 NE 16th Terrace, and Mariner Middle School, 425 Chiquita Boulevard N. The purpose is to provide residents with potable water. Residents must also bring their own containers to fill up. Containers are not available at either location.

• Cape Coral Caring Center is distributing bags of non-perishable food to those in need at 1420 SE 47th St. and volunteers will provide the supplies. Hours are 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The center also offers assistance in paying utility bills. Other items, like baby wipes, also can be provided. People can also drop off non-perishable food to the center during business hours. There also is a need for bottled water and for money donations.

• Gulfshore Life’s list of food and water distribution sites in Southwest Florida.

• The Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County, 1100 Loveland Blvd. in Port Charlotte , is open from 8 a.m. to 5. p.m. Monday through Friday. Services include AIDS Drug Assistance Program, birth and death certificates, dental, environmental health and family planning, along with free Tetanus , COVID-19, Hepatitis A, Monkeypox and flu vaccines.  

• Winn-Dixie enhanced its relief efforts to include mobile pharmacies at two Winn-Dixie locations for Englewood and Port Charlotte community members. The Englewood location, 4100 McCall Road, offers curbside service and emergency prescription refills. The Port Charlotte location, 2000 Kings Highweay, offers full-service amenities including emergency refills, vaccines and COVID-19 testing. Both mobile pharmacies are open 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

• The mobile veterinary team for the University of Florida arrived in Fort Myers on Tuesday, ready to assist Lee County residents and their pets. The team will be located in Terry Park at 3140 Palm Beach Blvd. and are offering triage and medical care free of charge to any resident in need. Pet food is also available on site.

• HCA Florida Cape Coral Emergency at 322 SW Pine Island Road reopened upon the completion of repairs following Hurricane Ian. All services at the facility are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with emergency care, including laboratory, X-rays, CT scanning and ultrasound. Repairs are underway at HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital which remains temporarily closed. A reopening date will be announced soon. Patients from HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital have been transferred to other hospitals where they are receiving care.  

• Lee Convenient Care at Bonita Community Health Center reopened and is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice. Over the weekend, Lee Convenient Care at Page Field and Pine Island Road also reopened with operating hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice.

• All NCH Healthcare System patients are now allowed two  visitors per patient , according to a release from the Naples-based hospital . Outpatient elective procedures resumed Monday, while i npatient elective procedures scheduled for both NCH Hospitals are postponed until Wednesday . Vanderbilt Immediate Care and Bonita Immediate Care   resumed business Monday with operating hours of 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Both NCH Wellness Centers , Downtown Naples and  Greentree Plaza , will be open from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.   Most NCH Physician Group offices in Collier and s outh Lee c ounties open Tuesday . Patients should contact their doctor’s office to reschedule any appointments that may have been canceled due to the storm.  Likewise, NPG patients can also visit NCH’s Ian storm update page on our website for a detailed list of open facilities.

•Family Initiative’s Autism Support Center in Cape Coral reopened to provide basic food supplies and bottled water for Southwest Florida families with autism. The Autism Support Center, 734 SW 4th St., is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To continue providing services to families with autism in need, Family Initiative is seeking donations of nonperishable food items, cases of water, batteries, or financial contributions. If donors are unable to deliver items, Family Initiative can arrange pick up as well as the distribution of goods to families, if possible. For more information about donation needs, contact Rachel Fecteau by calling 239-220-1387 or emailing [email protected]

• Advocate Radiation Oncology offices in Southwest Florida are open for treatment for both existing and new patients at 15681 New Hampshire Court in Fort Myers, 909 Del Prado Blvd. S. in Cape Coral, 25243 Elementary Way in Bonita Springs, 1775 Davis Blvd. in Naples and 3080 Harbor Blvd. in Port Charlotte.

• Summit Maternity Care Center is providing free providing prenatal appointments for women who are unable to find accessible care with their doctors due to Hurricane Ian and closures. It opened Monday and will remain so from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday at 950 Tamiami Trail, Suite 101, in Port Charlotte.

• Edison Mall in Fort Myers will reopen Saturday.

• Sanibel Captiva Community Bank reopened banking operations in the parking lot of its main office at 2406 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel. Bank staff will be on-site Tuesday and Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m., to provide Sanibel residents who are existing customers with limited cash services and access to safety deposit boxes. All banks are closed on Monday for Columbus Day. The bank will continue to provide these services in the following weeks and anticipates expanding operations to multiple days with extended hours, as necessary. Customers will need to present a form of identification, as well as a key if accessing safe deposit boxes.

• Naples Grande Beach Resort announced it will reopen Oct. 10 following a brief closure due to Hurricane Ian. Starting Monday, hotel guests and locals will be able to experience all the resort’s amenities and services including six on-site restaurants, spa and fitness center, three pools and tennis club.  At this time, Rhode’s End and access to Clam Pass Beach will remain closed until further notice as the resort works closely with local officials to reopen in the near future.

• Luminary Hotel & Co. reopened following Hurricane Ian and is ready to welcome guests back to all of its dining outlets with the exception of The Silver King Ocean Brasserie with limited menus and hours. Guest rooms at Luminary Hotel are currently occupied by emergency response personnel working to restore the area’s power and infrastructure as quickly as possible.

• Fort Myers Brewing Co. reopened its doors with beer available onsite and to-go. Temporarily adjusted brewery hours are 2 to 7 p.m. through Friday and noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Starting next week, hours are 2 to 7 p.m. daily. Fort Myers Brewing Co. is located at 12811 Commerce Lakes Drive, Suite 28, in Fort Myers.

• Sanibel Captiva Community Bank opened five of its eight Lee County locations: Gateway Branch, 11691 Gateway Blvd. in Fort Myers; Downtown Branch, 1533 Hendry St., Unit 100, in Fort Myers; College Parkway Branch, 7500 College Parkway in Fort Myers; 7040 Winkler Road in Fort Myers and Bridge Branch, 9311 College Parkway in Fort Myers. Lobbies are open for regular business hours and on-site ATMs are available and operable.

• Hodges University will reopen on Monday, Oct. 10 for all regularly scheduled classes and activities.

• Supercuts reopened eight locations Monday: 3300 Bonita Beach Road, Unit 156, in Bonita Springs; 5100 Daniels Parkway in Fort Myers, 3650 Fiddlesticks Blvd., Unit 105, in Fort Myers; 11861 Palm Beach Blvd., Unit 105, in Fort Myers; 15880 Summerlin Road, Suite 112, in Fort Myers; 10580 Colonial Blvd., Suite 105, in Fort Myers; 6654 Collier Blvd., Unit 102, in Naples; and 2610 N. Ninth St. in Naples.

• Naples Senior Center, a nonprofit organization serving older adults in Collier and southern Lee counties, reopened on Monday. Seniors seeking to combat isolation or loneliness, or just cool air-conditioning, following Hurricane Ian are invited to visit the center at 5025 Castello Drive in Naples.

Strayhorn & Persons, P.L.

 Boys & Girls Club of Collier County

 Child Care of Southwest Florida

 Guardian ad Litem Foundation – 20th Judicial Circuit

• Gulfshore Life’s list of what’s open after Hurricane Ian.

• Gulfshore Life’s l ist of restaurants open in Lee and Collier counties

Gulfshore Life’s list of Furniture stores, warehouses and showrooms with in-stock inventory after the storm

• WINK News’ list of stores, gas stations and food distribution centers that are open.

• Gulfshore Life’s list of places to donate or volunteer for storm recovery.

• For Lee County storm resource information, go to

• Collier County  information  hotline : C all 311 within  the c ounty or 239 – 252-8444  outside  of the area.    

• Pure Florida, a water attraction company helmed by father-and-son duo Captains Lance H. and Harry Julian, has available vessels for those needing water access. All Pure Florida vessels survived Hurricane Ian. Pure Florida is docked at Tin City in downtown Naples and can get vessels up to Lee County within 90 minutes. The company remains in touch with government officials to stand ready to assist emergency operations center officials in both Lee and Collier counties. News crews and government officials should contact Pure Florida Director of Marketing Communications Merry Coffman at 239-793-7529 or email at [email protected] Families looking to try and get on an island should contact 239-263-4949 or email [email protected] to speak to a Pure Florida Team Member.

Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers  

The Library Pizza & Pub (Gulf Coast Town Center) and Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza, Estero (Coconut Point)  

Due to Hurricane Ian, some post offices in Southwest Florida have been temporarily suspended. Retail and some mail service for customers of those offices have been temporarily relocated, as detailed below:

Everglades City: Customers normally served by the Everglades City Post Office can obtain retail services at the Mobile Retail Unit in the Everglades City Post Office parking lot,  601 Collier Ave., in Everglades City. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3:30 p.m., closed Saturday and Sunday.

Balm: Customers normally served by the Balm Post Office can obtain retail services at the Mobile Retail Unit in the post office parking lot at 15036 Balm Road in Balm. Hours: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on weekdays, closed Saturday and Sunday.

Bokeelia: Customers normally served by the Bokeelia Post Office can obtain retail service at the North Fort Myers Post Office, 1882 N. Tamiami Trail, in North Fort Myers. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, closed Saturday and Sunday.

Captiva: Customers normally served by the Captiva Post Office should temporarily pick up their mail at the Six Mile Cypress Annex Building, 14651 Ben C. Pratt/6 Mile Cypress Parkway, in Fort Myers. Hours for pick-up are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays, closed Sundays. Customers must present a photo ID for mail pick-up. Retail services are available at the Mobile Retail Unit at the Six Mile Cypress Annex parking lot. Retail hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, closed Sundays.

Downtown Fort Myers: Customers normally served by the Downtown Fort Myers Post Office can obtain retail services at the Page Field Post Office, 2655 N. Airport Road, in Fort Myers. Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, closed Sundays.

Downtown Naples: Customers normally served by the Downtown Naples Post Office can obtain retail services at the Naples Post Office, 1200 Goodlette-Frank Road N., in Naples. Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, closed Sundays.

Fort Myers Beach:  Customers normally served by the Fort Myers Beach Post Office should temporarily pick up their mail at the Six Mile Cypress Annex Building, 14651 Ben C. Pratt/6 Mile Cypress Parkway, in Fort Myers. Hours for pick up are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays, closed Sundays. Customers must present a photo ID for mail pick-up. Retail services are available at the Mobile Retail Unit at the Six Mile Cypress Annex parking lot. Retail hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, closed Sundays.

Pineland:  Customers normally served by the Pineland Post Office can obtain retail services at the North Fort Myers Post Office, 1882 N. Tamiami Trail. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, closed Saturdays and Sundays.

Placida: Customers normally served by the Placida Post Office can obtain retail services at the Englewood Post Office, 950 S. Rover Road. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, closed Sundays.

St. James City: Customers normally served by the St. James City Post Office can obtain retail services at the North Fort Myers Post Office, 1882 N. Tamiami Trail. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, closed Saturdays and Sundays.

Sanibel Main: Customers normally served by the Sanibel Main Post Office should temporarily pick up their mail at the Six Mile Cypress Annex Building, 14651 Ben C. Pratt/6 Mile Cypress Pkwy, in Fort Myers. Hours for pick-up are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays, closed Sunday. Customers must present a photo ID for mail pick-up. Retail services are available at the Mobile Retail Unit at the Six Mile Cypress Annex parking lot. Retail hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, closed Sundays.

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