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Hurricane Ian: Marco Island boaters batten down the hatches as city declares a state of emergency

Marco Island storm preparations
Posted at 5:41 PM, Sep 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-26 20:59:27-04

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. — On Monday, it took under 30 minutes for Marco Island City Council to declare a State of Emergency for the island.

Boaters at Marco Island Marina said calmer conditions made for a great opportunity to secure their second home on the water.

On Monday, Captain Dan Mercier, who was busy securing boats said its been a busy couple of days.

“Our phones definitely got busier, a lot of people are out of town right now,” said Mercier.

Those phone calls, asked captain Mercier and his crew to start securing boats as hurricane Ian made its way towards Marco Island.

“We keep our boats on the inside of the marina, the ones on the outside we ship them out,” said Mercier.

Captain Mercier said most of his day was spent tying down boats and removing items like cushions or tarps that hurricane winds can blow away.

“Every year we have a hurricane plan, so we prepare months in advance for stuff like this,” said Mercier.

On Monday, the City of Marco Island was also preparing.

During a special meeting, Marco Island Fire Chief Chris Byrne told council members to not downplay Hurricane Ian.

"It's very important to not get focused on this track of this cone and just be prepared and be alert as it is uncertain forecast," said Chief Byrne

Sand is available at three CollierCounty parks for those interested in obtaining sandbags.

There is a limit of 10 bags per person and Pre-made sandbags are available at North Collier Regional Park, 15000 Livingston Road, Naples, FL 34109.

Over 1,000 sandbags have been pre-made and more are planned to be made.

Marco Island residents can also find sandbags over the bridge in Naples at these two locations:

  1. Donna Fiala Eagle Lakes Community Park, 11565 Tamiami Trail E., Naples, FL 34113
  2. Max A Hasse, Jr. Community Park, 3390 Golden Gate Boulevard West, Naples, FL 34120.

The City of Marco Island also alerted boat owners who keep their vessels stored at home.

Marco Island City Hall Facebook page

On Monday, Captain Mercier said it's now about making final preparations.

"We have a great community of boat owners and yacht management around here and so we help each other out," said Mercier.

The Dockmaster at Marco Island Marina said they do expect sea levels to rise and for the wind to pick up, but added that the marina provides enough protection for these boats to weather the storm.