Tropical Storm Ian has the potential to become a hurricane and make landfall in Southwest Florida next week, and Fort Myers Beach is preparing.
The town of Fort Myers Beach encourages all residents to take time this weekend and make sure their properties and families are prepared.
Town staff has been implementing precautionary measures to prepare town facilities and operations to weather the storm safely if it does arrive.
It’s important to plan and prepare for being on your own for at least 72 hours after a storm passes, especially with water and medicine.
WINK News spoke with Fort Myers Beach Mayor Ray Murphy, who said the town itself is closing up all its facilities, putting things away, and boarding up. He said the bridges would close if winds hit 45 miles per hour.
“After the event is over, the storm passes by, if people are being allowed back on the island, which, you know, barring any unforeseen catastrophe, they would be, they have to have their hurricane passes, reentry passes, those are issued at the town hall. Those are issued to residents of the town of Fort Myers Beach and business owners on Fort Myers Beach,” said Mayor Murphy.
Murphy said after the storm, the general public would not be admitted down to the island until all the necessary cleanups were completed.
If you live in a home with a high risk of flooding, it is recommended that you have a plan in place to ride out the storm in an elevated and secure structure.
If you need sandbags, the town has sand available behind the town hall, but you will have to bring your own shovel to fill the bags.
“I just, I would just say to all my friends down here and neighbors just to be careful, be diligent. Be careful in your preparations. Don’t hurt yourselves. A lot of people get hurt during their preparations. Take your time, be careful. There’s plenty of time between now and Tuesday, Wednesday. So, all weekend long, people should be busy. But be careful. Don’t overdo it,” said Murphy.
Murphy said whether it is your first hurricane or if you have lived here for years, it is important to pay attention and have a plan.
WINK News is the Weather Authority and will keep you informed on the latest about the storm.