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Lee County shifts from rescue to 'search and recovery'

Tropical Weather Computer Models
Posted at 4:34 PM, Oct 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-08 16:34:49-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Lee County officials announced search-and-rescue efforts will shift to search-and-recovery operations starting Sunday.

11 federal and six state Urban Search and Rescue teams deployed immediately following Hurricane Ian will be demobilizing during the next few days, officials said.

Local public safety agencies will shift operations to the recovery of human remains.

The public should not enter unsafe hurricane-damaged structures, particularly in hard-hit of Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, portions of Cape Coral and additional coastal areas.

Law enforcement officials ask that anyone who encounters human remains leave them as they are and immediately call 9-1-1.

Distant friends and family who still are searching for loved ones they have lost contact with can use the Emergency Services Request Form from the Florida Division of Emergency Management to request help. Local residents also can use the form to ask for help. Go to for the form.

“This is challenging news to convey to our community as we still grapple with this Category 4 storm that caused so much damage here, but shifting operations like this is part of the process and is a step toward our recovery,” said Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass, who is chairman of the Lee Board of County Commissioners.