No emergency services for barrier islands; Charlotte Harbor US-41 bridges closed as a precaution

Published: September 30, 2022 3:54 PM EDT
Updated: September 30, 2022 7:27 PM EDT
The US-41 bridges over Charlotte Harbor have been closed. (CREDIT: Charlotte County Government)

There are no emergency services being provided to the barrier islands in Charlotte County at this time.

The islands affected at this time is Knight Island, Don Pedro Island and Little Gasparilla Island, said Charlotte County Public Information Officer Brian Gleason.

Gleason said those islands were under mandatory evacuation prior to Ian’s arrival, but now people have returned.

“If they go back, they are on their own,” Gleason said.

Usually there is Fire and EMS, as well as law enforcement on the island, but they were pulled back due to Ian and have not been redeployed, Gleason said.

Charlotte County has also closed the US-41 bridges that travel over Charlotte Harbor.

The roadway was closed as of 3 p.m. on Friday.

All U.S. 41 lanes, north and south, will be closed from Kings Highway to Marion Avenue.

The closure is a precautionary measure due to potentially dangerous conditions.

Southbound traffic will be rerouted to Kings Highway or Parmely Street. Northbound traffic will be rerouted to Marion Avenue or Olympia Avenue. Motorists should use Interstate 75 as an alternate route before reaching the closed intersections to relieve congestion.

Law enforcement will be on the scene to direct traffic.

Charlotte County said it is aware of water service outages throughout the county, including west county and the Burnt Store area.

It is reminding residents that have water to limit their use and to remember to boil their water until further notice.

When to Use Disinfected Water:

Drinking – Drinking water should be disinfected before use by any humans or animals. Water from your refrigerator dispenser will also need to be disinfected. Any ice in your ice-maker should be thrown away and no new ice made from your refrigerator should be used during the advisory. If you make ice in a tray, disinfect the water first.

Cooking – Any water to be used in cooking should be disinfected prior to use. Disinfected water should also be used to wash any food, such as fruits and vegetables. Baby formula should be prepared using disinfected water. Ensure your hands have been cleaned with disinfected water before handling any food.

Cleaning – Dishes can be hand-cleaned using tap water if they are rinsed afterward for one minute in a bleach solution made from one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of tap water. Dishes should then be left to air dry. It is safe to wash clothes in tap water.

Personal Hygiene – General hand-washing can be done with tap water and soap; however, if you will be in contact with food, use disinfected water to prevent any contamination to prepared food. If you have any open cuts, wounds, or sores, disinfected water should be used when cleaning the afflicted area. Individuals who have had recent surgery, chronic illness or are immunosuppressed may want to use disinfected water for any personal hygiene to ensure health. While tap water is safe for bathing and showering, care should be taken not to allow water in the eyes, nose or mouth to prevent pathogens from entering your body. Children and disabled individuals should be supervised when bathing to ensure no water is ingested. Disinfected water should be used for brushing teeth. Tap water is safe for shaving, as long as care is taken to prevent water from entering the eyes, nose, mouth or shaving cuts.