City officials estimate recovery in the Cape may take two months
UPDATE #16 – The Final Update, 6 p.m. Tuesday
Message from the Cape Coral Fire Department
Good evening Cape Coral,
We know that it has been a trying couple of days. The recovery is underway and it will be some time before things get “back to normal.” Now that the storm has passed, our focus shifts to recovery. We anticipate this process will take Cape Coral about two months. Longer, in other areas of the county and state.
Throughout the storm we have been providing updates at the City’s dedicated hurricane website, www.capecoral.net/hurricane. We made a point to have unified messaging across all of the City’s social media platforms so that no matter where you follow us, you would get complete, consistent, and accurate information.
As of 7 p.m. this evening, the Cape Coral Emergency Operations Center is transitioning from a Level I to a Level II, partial, activation.
As the transition to more normal operations begins, our messaging will mirror this. Instead of Police, Fire/Emergency Management, and the City all providing the same messages specific to Hurricane Irma, department specific messaging will resume. Of course, if there is information pertinent to all departments, that will be shared across all platforms.
For continued information on the City’s recovery from the effects of Hurricane Irma, and for general City services and information, please visit the City’s website atwww.capecoral.net. This includes information on solid waste, electric, water, etc. You can also follow the City on Facebook at CapeCoralGov or, if you have questions, call 3-1-1 from 7:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Cape Coral Fire or Emergency Management related information can be found on their website at www.capecoral.net/fire or on Facebook at CapeCoralFD. Cape Coral Police related information can be found on their website at www.capecops.com or on Facebook at CapePD.
Below is the final update from Cape Coral Emergency Management regarding Hurricane Irma.
BOIL WATER NOTICE:
THERE IS NO CITY-WIDE BOIL-WATER NOTICE at this time. There MAY be localized notices due to water main breaks. To see if you are affected by a localized notice, look for the temporary street signs in your neighborhood or visit HERE.
A number of stores are coming back online with power, and we want to help our citizens resupply and get what they need. Therefore, for the City of Cape Coral, the curfew hours have been changed to 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., effective TONIGHT. Of course, we are still urging caution to anyone driving out there. Many intersections still don’t have power. If a traffic light is out, treat it as a 4-way stop.
4 p.m., the local (City) state of emergency expired. Therefore, the temporary ban on the sale of alcoholic spirits has ended. Remember, drink responsibly.
Cape Coral’s Economic Development Office is compiling a list of open businesses. If your business is open, please post it to the Cape Coral Economic Development Office Facebook Page or email to firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject BUSINESS OPEN.
Normal trash collection service began today. There is no recycling or horticulture collection yet. For the normal service schedule please visit: wasteprousa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/trash-schedule.pdf
POST STORM SAFETY INFORMATION:
As with the flood a couple of weeks ago, there will be standing water. Please don’t play in it! This water can contain sewage, human waste, yard chemicals, dead animals, sharp debris from the storm…all things you don’t want to wade in or get cut by.
If you’ve lost power (most of us have) and have no A/C, please stay hydrated. It’s hot and sticky out there…it comes with the Florida living (like hurricanes).
We are reiterating generator safety. One of the most significant risks from generator use is carbon monoxide, or CO, poisoning. CO is a colorless, odorless gas that is a byproduct of combustion. The exhaust from generators contains this gas, and keeping the exhaust away from the home and any ventilation in to the home is imperative. Never use a portable electric generator indoors or in an attached garage.
Residents should run generators in a well-ventilated, dry area away from intakes into the home and protected from rain; an ideal spot would be under a canopy away from the home or in an open, freestanding shed. Install carbon monoxide alarms inside your home as a protection against the gas emitted from generators. Lee County EMS has transported 21 patients with suspected CO poisoning since the storm has passed. If you would like to request a check of your generator exhaust, please call (239) 574-3223. If you are experiencing CO poisoning symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately. Symptoms include:
Nausea or vomiting
Shortness of breath
Loss of consciousness
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be especially dangerous for people who are sleeping or intoxicated. People may have irreversible brain damage or even be killed before anyone realizes there’s a problem.
Also, don’t refuel a hot generator (gas can ignite) and don’t operate a generator in wet conditions to avoid electrocution.
State law prohibits extreme increase in the price of essential commodities, such as food, water, hotels, ice, gasoline, lumber and equipment needed as a direct result of an officially declared emergency. The amount cannot grossly exceed the average price for those items during the 30 days before the declaration of the state of emergency unless the seller can justify an increase in the costs. If you suspect price gouging, report this to the Attorney General’s price Gouging hotline 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (66-7226).
Survivors with losses due to Hurricane Irma in Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pinellas, and Sarasota Counties may now register for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to state and federal officials.
Individuals can register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or through the FEMA App.
Debris crews are actively clearing roadways. Give yourself extra time as your “usual” route may be blocked.
Generators are being placed at some key intersections throughout the city to power traffic lights. Other intersections are being modified to not allow for left-turns. If there is no signal or officer at the intersection and the light is out, PLEASE TREAT THE INTERSECTION AS A 4-WAY STOP.
Midpoint Bridge and Cape Coral Bridge are cleared for traffic. Tolls are still suspended at this time.
Due to flooding, Burnt Store Rd. is detoured to Old Burnt Store Rd. between Gulfstream and Durden.
In the event of a natural disaster, remember that all repair work performed on your home or business should be completed by a licensed professional. Contractors travel from out of state to a disaster area and take advantage of the large amount of repair work to be done. Remember that even if they are licensed in another state to perform construction services, they must also obtain a state license from DBPR to perform those services on your home or business. Unlicensed activity occurs when a person who is not licensed by the state performs or offers to perform a job or service that requires licensure in one of the professions regulated by the Division of Regulation, Division of Real Estate and Division of Certified Public Accounting. During a declared State of Emergency, the penalty for unlicensed construction activity becomes a third-degree felony.
Visit www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/os/communications_office/HurricaneGuide.html for steps to follow to prevent becoming the victim of an unlicensed activity scam after a natural disaster.
Damage assessment has begun and crews are compiling the list of infrastructure that needs repair. LCEC begins by restoring power to essential services such as hospitals, traffic signals, shelters, communication centers and law enforcement. Next, power is restored to the greatest number of customers in the least amount of time by repairing main circuits. Then feeders will be repaired to power up neighborhoods. Finally, individual services or services that need to be reconnected after repair to the customer’s damaged electrical system are restored.
As of noon today, there are still 32,897 customers without power. Visit www.lcec.net/reliability/storm-center/hurricane-updates for more information.
Treat all downed powerlines as live! Call these in to LCEC at (239) 656-2300. Please only call 911 to report a downed powerline if it is threatening life safety.
WELFARE CHECKS AND 3-1-1 INFORMATION LINE:
We know that many people will want welfare check on friends and family. Please call (239) 574-3223 (the non-emergency dispatch line) for welfare check requests. Please DO NOT call 9-1-1 as they need to be available for emergency calls. We have initiated welfare checks, but please be aware that it may take 24-48 hours for us to complete all of the requests.
3-1-1 is still available for residents who have general or Hurricane Irma related questions. Call takers will be available until 7:00pm this evening, and then will resume normal hours (7:30am 4:30pm) beginning tomorrow.
CANCELLATIONS AND CLOSURES:
City Hall will reopen for regular business tomorrow.
Lee County and Cape Coral Municipal Charter Schools are closed through the week. Classes will resume on Monday, Sept. 18.
The Chief Judge of the 20th Circuit has extended the closure of all courthouses through Friday, Sept. 15. The courthouses are expected to reopen on Monday, September 18, subject to a further assessment of damages. This includes Lee County, Collier County, Charlotte County, Hendry County, and Glades counties.
Lee County government offices will respond Thursday (9/14).
Lee County Emergency Management provided four shelter locations last night for people who remained in shelters post-Irma and for people who may have incurred Hurricane Irma damage to their homes and need a place to stay temporarily.
Open shelters include:
Germain Arena, 11000 Everblades Parkway, Estero
Alico Arena, Florida Gulf Coast University campus
North Fort Myers Rec Center (new), 2000 N. Recreation Way, North Fort Myers
Dunbar Middle School (new), 4750 Winkler Ave. Extension, Fort Myers
Previously opened shelters (except for Germain and Alico) closed last night. Decisions about how long the shelters will remain open will be made in tandem with Emergency Management recovery efforts this week.
All shelters are pet friendly. Please bring a crate for your animal or a leash.
Source: Cape Coral Fire Department