NewsLocal News


After Ian: Updates for Wednesday, Oct. 26

Posted at 4:13 AM, Oct 26, 2022

Information we receive about important recovery efforts, relief hotlines and more will be posted here.


  • Scripps Howard Fund Hurricane Ian relief drive: Text STORM to 50155 or click here to make a contribution.
  • FDEM Crisis Cleanup at 1-800-451-1954
  • Operation Blue Roof: Call 888-766-3258 or visit
  • FEMA Assistance Hotline: 1-800-621-3362 (click here for more information)
  • Insurance fraud/unlicensed contractor hotline: 1-239-533-1342
  • Report displaced vessels: 1-850-488-5600
  • Legal help hotline: 1-(866) 550-2929 or click this link.

Fort Myers Beach residents: Click here for recovery information compiled by your city leaders.

Disaster Recovery Centers, which provide a multitude of services including information on recovery programs and assistance are open daily:

  • Charlotte County - Tringali Rec Center 3450 N. Access Rd. Englewood, FL 34224
    • Open 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. daily
  • Collier County - Veteran's Community Park 1895 Veteran’s Community Drive Naples, FL.
    • Open 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. daily
  • Desoto County - Brewer Sports Park 1347 SE Hargrave St, Arcadia, FL 34266
    • Open 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. daily
  • Hardee County - Wauchula Civic Center 515 Civic Center Dr. Wauchula, FL 33873
    • Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily
  • Highlands County - Highlands County Extension Office 4509 George Blvd. Sebring, FL 33875
    • Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily
  • Lake County - First Baptist Church of Astor 24731 Ann St. Astor, FL 32102
    • Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily
  • Lee County - Lakes Regional Library 15290 Bass Rd. Fort Myers, FL 33919
    • Open 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., Daily
  • Lee County - Joseph P.D Alessandro Office Complex 2295 Victoria Ave. Fort Myers, FL 33901
    • Open 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., Daily
  • Lee County - Cape Coral Council Chambers 1015 Cultural Park Blvd. Cape Coral, FL 33990
    • Open 8 a.m. - 3 p.m., October 25 & 26
  • Lee County - Cape Coral Arts Center 4533 Coronado Pkwy, Cape Coral FL 33904
    • Open 8 a.m. - 3 p.m., October 27 & 28
  • Lee County - Beach Baptist Church 130 Connecticut Street, Fort Myers Beach FL 33931
    • Open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Daily
  • Lee County - Santini Marina Plaza 7205 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach FL 33931
    • Open 24 hours a day
  • Sarasota County - Shannon Staub Public Library 4675 Career Lane North Port, FL 34289
    • Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily

The Town of Fort Myers Beach announced that a new community resource center has opened at Santini Plaza with water, food, showers, laundry and restrooms and is open 24 hours a day. A second location is open at Beach Baptist Church at 130 Connecticut Street; State and federal resources are available at the site. This location will be open 24 hours a day, with representatives from the various agencies available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Both sites have hot meals available 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and information boards.

Lee County shelter has moved to Del Tura Plaza at 18900 North Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers.

POWER OUTAGES - Click here for information from FPL and LCEC regarding outstanding outages.
Efforts to restore the remaining customers are underway, utilizing more than 1,000 utility personnel on the mainland and hundreds of FPL and Duke Energy workers on Sanibel and Pine Island. LCEC is focused on restoring power to each and every customer, including those on the barrier islands.

If the neighborhood is still out of power, Crews are out working and will get to them asap. If yours is the only residence in the neighborhood without power, call 239-656-2300 to report it. Remember to keep breakers off until power is restored.

LCEC has temporarily suspended late fees and disconnections for non-payment so customers can focus on their families and homes after the disastrous Hurricane Ian.

The City of Cape Coral has electronic device charging stations located at City Hall, Police Department Headquarters, and Fire Department Stations (with the exception of Fire Station 10) available daily, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Charlotte County Utilities Department is temporarily suspending late fees and water shut offs for non-payment until further notice. For Hurricane Ian information, call the Charlotte County Emergency Operations Center at 941-833-4000 or 941-743-1320.

Much like power outages immediately after Ian, restoring the Internet will require the examination of hundreds of thousands of miles of cabling; both overhead, underground and in some cases, underwater — and checks of individual homes will be likely. Service providers are also reporting hurdles such as newly laid cable being accidentally recut by other crews which are adding time to restoration. We have reached out to the area's main service providers asking for more transparency about the process.

As with the power outages, your ISP knows that your internet is out. Estimates given by providers should be taken as just that —estimates— and not a guarantee of reconnection time.

Click here for Verizon's critical response updates.
Verizon is operating two emergency communication centers at the following locations:

  • Port Charlotte Town Center Mall, 1441 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL (open daily 10:00am - 6:00pm)
  • 2525 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL (open daily 8:00am - 5:00pm)

Click here for Comcast/Xfinity's critical response updates.
Xfinity provides free WiFi at Veteran's Community Park from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. — 1895 Veteran's Park Drive, Naples

CenturyLink/Quantum Fiber are offering the following free WiFi hotspot locations:

  • 4001 Palm Tree Blvd, Cape Coral
  • 4195 Kings Hwy, Port Charlotte
  • 10546 Tipton Dr., Bokeelia (Pine Island)

The most recent public statement from the companies, owned by Lumen, was that "restoration efforts continue ... we appreciate your patience" in a tweet made Oct. 17. Previously, on Oct. 5, Quantum told customers "Our technicians have restored more than 60% of services knocked out by the storm."

Mobile Wi-Fi stations and laptops for public use are available at:

  • The Mobile Wi-Fi station at the Family Services Center is closed. The Englewood Charlotte Library and the Punta Gorda Charlotte Library are open and Wi-Fi services are available at both branches.
  • Ann & Chuck Dever Regional Park, 6791 San Casa Drive, Englewood, (near the skate park), 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Mid County Regional Library, 2050 Forrest Nelson Blvd, Port Charlotte, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The School District of Lee County is holding a job fair for teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria staff, support staff and more. The fair will be Oct. 27 from 9-11am and 3-5pm at the district offices at 2855 Colonial Blvd.

CareerSource Southwest Florida will have a fully staffed mobile unit available to assist with disaster unemployment assistance and temporary work for recovery. The mobile unit is stationed at the Walmart at 3451 Tamiami Trail E in Naples, Friday through Sunday from 10am-6pm.

Cape Coral is hiring debris removal monitors/contractors. Call 1-866-960-2325 (option 2) for more details.

Statewide, those interested in helping in the Ian recovery effort can visit to sign up.

Many residents are in need of temporary housing for those displaced by the storm. Please email if you have a private dock, apartment, house, RV, or shared room available. A local nonprofit will connect you to those in need.

Those wishing to help out in Sarasota County can submit a form of interest by clicking here.

Harry Chapin Food Bank needs volunteers. Those interested can click here to register and pick a time to help.

The Charlotte County Volunteer Reception Center needs volunteers to help with the disaster response. To register and receive an assignment with an agency that needs assistance, visit 227 Sullivan St., Punta Gorda, FL 33950, open from 7–11 a.m. daily. You can also register at

To apply for FEMA assistance, visit this website.

A FEMA individual assistance registration site opened Tuesday at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center, 75 Taylor St, Punta Gorda, FL 33950. The site will operate from 8 a.m.- 6 p.m., seven days a week.

Help Charlotte County in reporting damage: click here to fill out a form.

To aid the residents of Fort Myers Beach, the Board of Fire Commissioners and Fire Chief Ronald R. Martin are suspending all fire inspection and permitting fees. This suspension of fees will begin on Monday, October 17, 2022, and continue for 90 days.

The City of North Port Building Division: Permits to repair damage caused by Hurricane Ian are being expedited. Permit applications for roof repairs may be submitted online at or in person at City Hall, 4970 City Hall Blvd., and are being issued within 24 hours.

Initial Payment Centers have been opened from 8am-6pm daily at the following locations:

  • Port Charlotte Town Center, 1441 Tamiami Trail
  • Lakes Regional Library, 15290 Bass Road
    • You can also obtain free carbon monoxide detectors at these locations.

Lee County has announced the opening of an office for special rebuilding permits for construction and well water systems. The City of Fort Myers has waived permit fees associated with rebuilding as a result of the hurricane for 90 days effective Sep 30th.

Cape Coral permitting: Hours of operation will be Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. starting Oct. 11:

  • City Hall, 1015 Cultural Park Blvd.
  • Art Center, 4533 Coronado Pkwy.

The City of Punta Gorda Building department will be open during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). The inspection request line and online services for scheduling inspections are currently live. All state and local contractors must still register and obtain a permit for any roofing work performed over three (3) squares (300 sq ft) in the City of Punta Gorda. Please call (941) 575-3324.

Bonita Springs is waiving fees for fire inspections and permits starting Friday, October 21st

Collier County: The mandatory county curfew is in effect from midnight, 12 a.m. to 6 a.m., for all areas west and south of U.S. 41, and from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for residential areas in the City of Naples.

The City of North Port's overnight curfew is in effect from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m.; The only exception is work commutes.

Captiva Island will remain under the 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew until further notice.

Bonita Beach area curfew, including the areas in Big Hickory Island and Little Hickory Island, is still in place from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am.

Waste Management (WM) of Fort Myers will resume recycling collection service on Fort Myers Beach this week. Residents should separate their garbage and recycling from storm debris curbside.

Normal residential service has resumed for Cape Coral (Waste Pro), Lee County Solid Waste, North Port, Charlotte County (Waste Management), City of Naples, and Collier County customers.

Recycling pickup has resumed for The City of Naples, Collier County, North Port, Lee County Solid Waste, Cape Coral (Waste Pro).

Charlotte County curbside collection recycling service will resume Monday, Oct. 31. The collection will be picking up regular household solid waste and recycling carts on the regularly scheduled days.

Waste Pro (Cape Coral) customers who need replacement containers can fill out this online form.

Glades County debris removal notes: Separate into piles vegetation under 6 feet long; construction debris under 8 feet long; appliances and furniture (remove doors for safety). Keep piles away from mailboxes, power poles and hydrants. No hazardous and household waste accepted.

The West Charlotte Mini-Transfer & Recycling Facility at 7070 Environmental Way, Englewood will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Sunday for residential drop-off only, no contractors or businesses.

A temporary drop-off location for storm debris is open at the Placida West Boat Ramp at 12560 Placida Road, Placida FL 33946 for residential drop-off only, no contractors or businesses.

For Lee County debris pickup progress, visit the county's online dashboard.

  • Mosquito Control, 1840 Gunnery Road, Lehigh Acres
  • Brooks Park, 50 South Road, Fort Myers
  • San Carlos Utility Site, 18078 Cypress Point Road, Fort Myers
  • Shell Factory, 2805 N. Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers
    • Businesses are encouraged to take their storm debris to the Waste-to-Energy Facility, 10500 Buckingham Road, and will be charged by weight. It will be open regular hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Landscaping companies hauling vegetative storm debris cleared from residential properties will need a signed declaration from the resident indicating the address where the debris was generated. No debris will be accepted without a signed declaration.
  • A site is now open for city residents on the corner of Edison and Grand Ave. Vegetative, construction and demolition debris is accepted. Open 7am-5pm, 7 days per week. Must present id showing City of Fort Myers residency.

Two temporary drop-off locations for storm debris are now open for residential drop-off only, no contractors or businesses:

  • Placida West Boat Ramp, 12560 Placida Road, Placida
  • Florida Street, South County Area, 7000 Florida St. Punta Gorda

The two mini-transfer facilities remain open for storm debris drop-offs:

  • Mid-County Mini-Transfer & Recycling Facility, 19765 Kenilworth Blvd., Port Charlotte
  • West Charlotte Mini-Transfer & Recycling Facility, 7070 Environmental Way, Englewood

All four locations are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Sunday accepts white goods, storm-related yard or vegetation debris, and construction and demolition debris from residential properties.

Cape Coral residents may drop off vegetative debris at 1130 NW 28th Place from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily.

  • You must bring ID to show you are a Cape Coral resident. Do not place debris in bags.

Oregon Products is set up at the SWFL Enterprise Center to help sharpen chainsaws and any products needed for tree removal free of charge - They'll be there for the next week to 10 days.

Procter & Gamble's "Tide Loads of Hope" mobile laundry units are operating from 9am to 5pm at the Walmart Supercenters at 19100 Murdock Circle in Port Charlotte and 11225 Tamiami Trail N in Naples.

Fort Myers Beach

  • Toilets, showers and laundry services are available at 7205 Estero Blvd and 2555 Estero Blvd

Fort Myers Beach

  • Water is available at 1035 Estero Blvd
  • Meals Ready to Eat and water are available at 7205 Estero Blvd
  • Prepared food and water are available at 2555 Estero Blvd

From Matlacha FD: If anyone is in need of tarps, water or emergency food, please stop by Station One (5700 Pine Island Rd. Bokeelia Fl, 33922) to get those needs filled.

Catholic Charities is distributing food, water and other essential supplies in Bonita Springs. 28360 Beaumont Rd. Tarps are also available for the community. M-F 9am to 5pm, Saturday 9am to 1pm.

The City of Cape Coral has drinking water available for refilling containers (you must bring your own container):

  • Diplomat Middle School, 1039 NE 16th Ter.
  • Mariner Middle School, 425 Chiquita Blvd N.

St. Matthew's House and Harry Chapin Food Bank will host three food distributions this week:

  • Monday - Paradise Coast Sports Complex 10am-12pm
  • Tuesday - Naples Alliance Church 10:30am-12:30pm
  • Wednesday - Center Point Community Church 10am-12pm

Harry Chapin Food Bank will have a temporary mobile food pantry at Jesus The Worker Catholic Church in Fort Myers, 881 Nuna Ave, every Thursday from 1 - 3 p.m. until further notice.

Ocean Church at 2016 Kismet Parkway in Cape Coral is a FEMA collection site. Diapers (adult and infant), baby wipes, formula, tarps, cleaning supplies, gas cans, portable grills, and propane tanks are in highest need at this time.

CAN Community Health holds a donation drive starting at 10am at Edison Mall (between Macy's and Dillard's) - water, canned goods, cleaning supplies, baby needs, and much more accepted. More info at

The Dawn McKenna Group (DMG) has coordinated an ongoing donation drive to benefit St. Matthew’s House and the Humane Society of Naples. Donations can be dropped off at 550 5th Ave. S., Naples and will be accepted through the holiday season.

Lee County will resume normal toll operations on two of its three bridges (Cape Coral and Midpoint) beginning at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1. No tolls will be collected on the Sanibel Causeway until further notice.

The state resumed normal toll collections on all other roads Oct. 25.

Access to Fort Myers Beach/Estero Island is now on a split schedule; essential workers only Mondays and Tuesdays; residents and contractors

Uber will be offering free round-trip rides, up to $30 each way, to and from the state-approved Disaster Recovery Centers.

LeeTran resumes operations with an abbreviated schedule. Click here for full details. Officials stress that mobile apps will not have accurate schedule information at this time.

LeeTran will be operating on the island at the following pick-up points to facilitate getting citizens to the FEMA assistance locations. FEMA will be located at the Pine Island Library and the First Baptist Church in Saint James City. They will be open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. with LeeTran buses running from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Ft. Myers-based Seminole Gulf Railway sustained substantial damage from Hurricane Ian. Several bridge structures were destroyed by the storm surge at Caloosahatchee and Peace Rivers, making the railroad inoperable for several months.

Recreational land managed by the South Florida Water Management District in Lee and Collier Counties will open starting Wednesday at 5 p.m. Those in Glades and Charlotte Counties reopened on Oct. 13.

In general, boaters are advised to stay off the water and beachgoers out of the water until further notice, due to the potential for dangerous blooms of various bacteria and other toxins.

Unless otherwise noted, city and county parks are considered closed to the public.

City of Punta Gorda Parks:

  • The Harborwalk and Punta Gorda Pathways will reopen on Oct. 25 at 7 a.m. Please use extreme caution as debris does remain in certain areas. Restrooms will be open. 
  • Laishley and Ponce Parks will also reopen on Oct. 25 at 7 a.m. Boat landings at both parks will also be open.
  • Nature Park will reopen on Oct. 25 at 7 a.m. The conservancy area of the park will remain closed. 
  • Hounds on Henry Dog Park remains closed until fencing can be replaced.
  • The Gilchrist Park Playground will be closed until further tree cleanup takes place. 
  • The splash pad at Laishley Park remains closed. 
  • Gilchrist Park athletic courts remain closed until fencing is repaired or replaced.
  • Remaining parks will open when debris removal is complete. 

All of the parks that are opening may still contain debris and may be missing signage. Special care needs to be taken to avoid injury. Please yield and give plenty of room to workers operating trucks and other debris removal equipment.
All City of Cape Coral Parks & Recreation locations are closed due to the impacts of Hurricane Ian.

Lee County Parks & Recreation says these sites are not open to the public:

  • Lakes Park, 7330 Gladiolus Drive, Fort Myers
  • Punta Rassa Boat Ramp, 15001 Punta Rassa Road, Fort Myers
  • Rutenberg Park, 6500 South Pointe Blvd., Fort Myers
  • Lee County Sports Complex, 14100 Six Mile Cypress Parkway, Fort Myers
  • JetBlue Park, 11500 Fenway South Drive, Fort Myers

Centennial Park and South County Regional Park recreation centers reopened Monday and operate from 7am-10pm seven days a week. Normal fees apply; no room rentals or aquatic facilities until further notice.

Charlotte County Community Organizations Active in a Disaster is launching a long-term recovery survey for residents that experienced damage and financial loss as a result of Hurricane Ian and are struggling with unmet needs.

Iona McGregor Fire District is providing Inzecto mosquito traps this week at the following locations:

  • Tuesday - Fire Station 74, 6061 South Pointe Blvd. 10am-2pm
  • Tuesday through Friday - Fire Department Headquarters, 15191 Homestead Rd. Lehigh Acres, 8am-3:30pm
  • Wednesday - Estero Fire Station 43, 21500 Three Oaks Pkwy. 10am-2pm
  • Thursday - Cape Coral Station 8, 707 SW 1st St., 10am-2pm
  • Friday - Cape Coral Station 9, 4107 Pelican Blvd., 10am-2pm

Lee County residents can view open businesses in select categories with current hours of operations. The businesses range from restaurants, banks, medical offices, grocery stores, and more. Visit for more Hurricane Ian recovery resources.

The Charlotte County Emergency Management Operations Call Center will continue operating with new hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. call at 941-833-4000 or 941-743-1320.

Wyndham Rewards members can donate their points to the Hurricane Ian relief effort between now and November 6. All points donated will be converted to charitable donations to Save the Children and will be matched by Wyndham.

Licensing on Wheels, a service to obtain free replacement driver licenses, ID cards, and titles, is open from 8:30am-4:30pm seven days a week at these locations

  • Lakes Regional Library, 152900 Bass Road, Fort Myers
  • Port Charlotte Town Center, 1441 Tamiami Trail
  • Hertz Arena 11000 Everblades Parkway, Estero

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Bonita Springs, 9080 Bonita Beach, is open from 9am-5pm Tuesday-Friday. Donations are being accepted and items including appliances, furniture, mattresses, paint and more, are available for sale.

Goodwill is offering individuals and families who suffered a loss of personal items a $25 voucher (maximum of 4 per family) from 10am - 4pm at the following Goodwill retail stores and Community Resource Centers:

  • Del Prado, 3226 Del Prado Blvd. S., Cape Coral
  • LaBelle, 91 S. Lee Street, LaBelle
  • Bonita Springs, 11601 Bonita Beach Road SE.
  • Palm Beach, 4162 Palm Beach Blvd., Fort Myers
  • Clewiston Goodwill, 957 W Sugarland Hwy
  • Cape Christian Church, 2110 Chiquita Blvd. S., Cape Coral