Lee County enacts curfew as Ian passes; 911 system still operational

Published: September 26, 2022 10:39 AM EDT
Updated: September 28, 2022 7:57 PM EDT
Lee County
Lee County Logo.

Lee County has issued a curfew as Ian passes through Southwest Florida.

Curfew hours will begin at 6 p.m. and stay in place until further notice.

Lee County continues receiving and tracking 911 calls and engaging with callers. The calls are being categorized and prioritized so first responders can act as soon as the hurricane passes, the county said.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said his agency is taking calls, but they are prioritizing them.

There are a number of people who are stranded due to high water but first responders are facing impossible conditions to get there, Lee County said.

County leaders are working with Federal Urban Search and Rescue teams in order to rescue stranded people as soon as hurricane conditions allow them to travel to the Lee County area.

Earlier 

Lee County is asking the public to shelter in place as storm conditions worsen as Ian nears landfall.

Emergency personnel said first responders won’t be able to reach you during the storm’s duration, but if you need help, still call 911.

Emergency response officials are reporting trees on the road.

“People should remain sheltered in place for the duration which would be sometime tomorrow.”

The National Hurricane Center anticipates the following in Lee County:

  • Catastrophic wind damage is expected beginning in the next few hours.
  • Structural damage to sturdy buildings, with some complete roof and wall failures.
  • Heavy rainfall will continue to spread across the county and will intensify, resulting in potentially life-threatening flooding.
  • Large trees snapped or uprooted and many roads impassable from trees and debris.
  • Destruction of mobile homes and manufactured homes.
  • Widespread power outages.
  • Tornados also are possible.

The National Weather Service recommends the following when sheltering in place:

  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level during the storm.
  • Put as many walls between you and the outside as you can.
  • Stay away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.
  • If the eye of the storm passes over your area, there will be a short period of calm, but at the other side of the eye, the wind speed rapidly increases to hurricane force winds coming from the opposite direction.

Earlier

Lee County has declared a local State of Emergency and announced shelter openings and mandatory evacuations due to the current forecast track of Hurricane Ian.

All Lee County residents are advised to seek shelter or shelter in place by 8 pm tonight night.

Lee County has expanded evacuation orders to add parts of Evacuation Zone C.

This latest order covers the portion of Zone C that lies in North Cape Coral and the portion of Zone C in North Fort Myers that is west of Interstate 75.

The county says the emergency declaration helps municipalities and counties prepare for and respond to situations such as hurricanes.

Part of Lee County is now under a hurricane warning.

The Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District says it is suspending operations due to deteriorating conditions from Hurricane Ian. They say calls to 911 will be logged and then responded to once conditions allow.

According to Lee County, the county staff continues to evaluate storm surge and flood models. They held an informational Facebook live on Monday at 3 p.m.

You can watch that by clicking here or in the player below.

All Lee County government is closed Tuesday and Wednesday while the commissioners and emergency managers monitor the hurricane to determine whether to issue an evacuation order.

Credit: WINK News

Southwest Florida International airport says all its airlines have canceled all their flights for Wednesday. The airport says some airlines are considering resuming flights on Thursday. The airport says it will close at 9 p.m. on Tuesday and wants to remind people that the airport is not a public shelter.

In the press briefing, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office stated that once sustained winds are above 45 mph, the Fort Myers Police Department pulls all officers off of the road.

LSCO will also not be able to respond to calls for service until winds are below sustained 45 mph and an assessment for damage has been conducted. This is normal practice. Calls will then be triaged and dispatched.

“My family members, the men and women of the sheriff’s office, we have all assets, all technology, everything is ready by the fingertip, we’re ready to go and we’re ready for anything that comes our way,” said Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “Want to keep our fingers crossed that we don’t have to utilize it, but being ready, being proactive to ensure the great residents of this county are going to be safe. And we are ready for that.”

LeeTran fixed route bus operations will end at 4 p.m. on Tuesday and bus fares will be waived. ADA Passport services will be prioritized based on life-sustaining and medical trips along with special needs sheltering.

Lee County expects to decide on Tuesday on whether to issue an evacuation order and when to open any shelters. Emergency operations will give an update at 7 a.m.

Watch the Tuesday morning update below or click here.

Lee County has announced mandatory evacuations for Zone A and Zone B. People in mobile or manufactured homes are especially encouraged to evacuate or seek shelter.

Uber says that if you need transportation to a shelter in Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee Counties, it will offer a free $30 ride. In the “Payment” section of the Uber app, enter code IANRELIEF for a trip to any of the shelters listed on the Florida disasters website.

10 emergency shelters will open at 9 a.m. on Tuesday:

  • Dunbar High School, 3800 Edison Ave.
  • East Lee County High School, 715 Thomas Sherwin Ave.
  • Estero Recreation Center, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd.
  • Gateway High, 13820 Griffin Drive
  • Hertz Arena, 11000 Everblades Parkway
  • Island Coast High School, 2125 DeNavarra Parkway
  • Oak Hammock Middle, 5321 Tice St.
  • South Fort Myers High, 14020 Plantation Road
  • Varsity Lakes Middle, 801 Gunnery Road N.
  • Veterans Park Recreation Center, 49 Homestead Road S.

All shelters are pet-friendly. People will need to bring essentials, including medication, things to sleep on (there are no cots) and blankets. Keep crowding in mind and avoid bringing unnecessary items. If bringing pets, bring food, leashes and crates or cages.

The Lee County Housing, Outreach and Treatment teams and outreach staff are coordinating with people experiencing homelessness to arrange LeeTran transport, before bus service stops at 4 p.m., to area shelters with the approach of Hurricane Ian.

People who are experiencing homelessness have been asked to arrive at the following outreach locations on Tuesday for transport:

  • Lion’s Park, 2550 Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers
  • Fort Myers Regional Library, 2450 First St., Fort Myers
  • Rosa Parks Transportation Center, 2250 Widman Way, Fort Myers
  • Edison Transfer Station, 4125 Cleveland Ave, Fort Myers
  • Cape Coral Transfer Center, 820 SE 47th Terrace, Cape Coral
  • Shopping plaza on the east side of U.S. 41 and Hancock Bridge in North Fort Myers.
  • Fort Myers Beach Park and Ride, 11101 Summerlin Square Dr, Fort Myers Beach
  • Schandler Hall, 419 Royal Palm Park Road, Fort Myers

People in Zone A and the above parts of Zone B should not put out their trash.

Call 211 after 9 a.m. for Lee County’s emergency information hotline.

According to the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District, emergency services are suspended until weather conditions improve. A prioritized list will be made for all calls to 911 during this time, and assistance will be provided as soon as it is safe. People are encouraged to shelter in place.