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Curfews still in effect

By Staff | Sep 12, 2017

A county-wide curfew remains in effect from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. until further notice. Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott issued the order Sunday meant to protect the public from dangers that may not be evident during the daytime.

There remains standing water in many communities from Hurricane Irma. This water can be contaminated by sewage, chemicals, dead animals and sharp objects so don’t play in it, officials said.

Workers are actively clearing main roadways of debris before moving on to neighborhoods, so be patient and allow extra travel time in case your usual route is blocked.

Both the Midpoint Bridge and Cape Coral Bridge are clear and open to traffic.

There is no city-wide boil water notice in effect for Cape Coral residents. Traffic on Burnt Store Road has been detoured to Old Burnt Store Road between Gulfstream and Durden parkways.

Cape Coral City Hall will open for regular business Wednesday. Lee County government offices are closed today and Wednesday.

Tuesday’s municipal Primary Election was postponed until Tuesday, Sept. 26. There will be three days of early voting on Sept. 21-23 at the same time and locations as before Irma.

Officials request motorists treat all intersections where traffic signals are out as a four-way stop, or follow police directing traffic flow at those intersections.

City officials said Waste Pro resumed collection of trash only on Tuesday. They will not be picking up recycling or horticultural waste until employees who evacuated return to work.

Lee County Emergency Management is operating four shelters for those people without power or extensive damage to their property. They are Germain Arena, 11000 Everglades Pkwy., Estero; Alico Arena, FGCU campus; North Fort Myers Rec Center, 2000 N. Recreation Way, North Fort Myers; and Dunbar Middle School, 4750 Winkler Ave. Extension, Fort Myers.

Previously open shelters, except Germain and Alico arenas, closed Monday night. Evacuees in one of those previous shelter locations were re-registered at the new shelters including Germain and Alico. Lee Tran provided transportation to evacuees needing to change shelters. A decision on how long the shelters will operate will be made along with emergency management recovery notices this week. All shelters are pet friendly, but bring a crate/cage and leash for the animal.

Many people are requesting welfare checks on friends and family members. Call 239-573-3000 to request welfare checks, but note that it may take 24-48 hours to complete the requests. Do not call 9-1-1 except for life-threatening emergencies.

Lee County School District

All county public schools and district offices are closed through Friday. Classes will resume on Monday, Sept. 18.

The district deployed assessment teams on Monday to get preliminary damage reports from school campuses. Gulf Middle School had standing water around campus.

Lee Health System

Two Convenient Care locations opened Tuesday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., at 1682 NE Pine Island Road, Cape Coral; and Page Field, 4771 Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers.

Lee Physician Group offices and Outpatient Services (those not inside hospitals) remained closed Tuesday.

Anyone needing dialysis service are to call 1-800-400-8331, or visit www.davita.com/services/emergency-services.


Crews continue to work to repair main circuits, the lines delivering power from the sources. Once these lines are repaired crews will begin restoring power to neighborhoods. Marco Island, Immokalee, Everglades City and other areas will take longer to repair due to major damage.

Customers are asked to keep the phone lines clear for calls pinpointing downed power lines. To report downed power lines to LCEC call 239-656-2300.

Before reporting a home is without power check the breaker first in case you turned it off before evacuating.

Outages as of Tuesday morning the following LCEC service areas:

Marco Island, 18,477 outages among 19,108 customers

Immokalee, 12,653 outages (all customers)

Everglades City, 3,143 outages (all customers)

Lehigh Acres, 29,151 outages (all customers)

North Fort Myers, 40,369 outages among 50,588 customers

Cape Coral, 40,121 outages among 82,216 customers

Pine Island, 6,633 outages among 7,098 customers

Sanibel, 10,371 outages among 10,891 customers

Total: 160,918 outages among 214,848 customers

Tips to keep food safe when the power is out:

Always keep meat, poultry, fish, and eggs refrigerated at or below 40 F and frozen food at or below 0 F. This may be difficult when the power is out.

Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.

The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about four hours if it is unopened.

A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.

Obtain dry or block ice to keep your refrigerator as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged period of time.

Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic foot full freezer for two days. Plan ahead and know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased.

Generator safety:

Don’t connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring at the breaker panel or meter. Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly to you and others. A generator that is directly connected to your home’s wiring can ‘back feed’ onto the power lines connected to your home. Utility transformers can then “step-up” or increase this back feed to thousands of volts – enough to kill a utility lineman making outage repairs a long way from your house. You could also cause expensive damage to utility equipment and your generator.

The only safe way to connect a portable electric generator to your existing wiring is to have a licensed electrical contractor install a transfer switch. The transfer switch transfers power from the utility power lines to the power coming from your generator.

Never plug a portable electric generator into a regular household outlet. Plugging a generator into a regular household outlet can energize “dead” power lines and injure neighbors or utility workers. Connect individual appliances that have their outdoor-rated power cords directly to the receptacle outlet of the generator, or connect these cord-connected appliances to the generator with the appropriate outdoor-rated power cord having a sufficient wire gauge to handle the electrical load.

Don’t overload the generator. Do not operate more appliances and equipment than the output rating of the generator. Overloading your generator can seriously damage your valuable appliances and electronics. Prioritize your needs. A portable electric generator should be used only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment.

Never use a generator indoors or in an attached garage. Just like your automobile, a portable generator uses an internal combustion engine that emits deadly carbon monoxide. Be sure to place the generator where exhaust fumes will not enter the house. Only operate it outdoors in a well-ventilated, dry area, away from air intakes to the home, and protected from direct exposure to rain and snow, preferably under a canopy, open shed or carport.

Use the proper power cords. Plug individual appliances into the generator using heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords with a wire gauge adequate for the appliance load. Overloaded cords can cause fires or equipment damage. Don’t use extension cords with exposed wires or worn shielding. Make sure the cords from the generator don’t present a tripping hazard. Don’t run cords under rugs where heat might build up or cord damage may go unnoticed.

Read and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation. Don’t cut corners when it comes to safety. Carefully read and observe all instructions in your portable electric generator’s owner manual.

To prevent electrical shock, make sure your generator is properly grounded. Consult your manufacturer’s manual for correct grounding procedures.

Do not store fuel indoors or try to refuel a generator while it’s running. Gasoline (and other flammable liquids) should be stored outside of living areas in properly labeled, non-glass safety containers. They should not be stored in a garage if a fuel-burning appliance is in the garage. The vapor from gasoline can travel invisibly along the ground and be ignited by pilot lights or electric arcs caused by turning on the lights. Avoid spilling fuel on hot components. Put out all flames or cigarettes when handling gasoline. Always have a fully charged, approved fire extinguisher located near the generator. Never attempt to refuel a portable generator while it’s running.

Turn off all equipment powered by the generator before shutting down your generator.

Avoid getting burned. Many generator parts are hot enough to burn you during operation.

Keep children away from portable electric generators at all times.