SANIBEL, Fla. — The City of Sanibel held a press conference today to address residents and give updates on hurricane damage. Mayor Holly Smith and Vice Mayor Richard Johnson were in attendance along with other city officials.
Four fatalities have been confirmed.
City officials emphasized that the recovery process will be slow, and it will be too dangerous to return to the island until an assessment can be completed. They also said that messaging and communication from the city will increase from here on out.
Sanibel Police Chief William Dalton said he and crews were out on the island today doing an assessment. They traveled by vessel, as the Sanibel Causeway has partially collapsed. The chief called the damage to the island “noticeably worse than Hurricane Charley.”
Chief Dalton also said they have now refined their plans for search and rescue efforts and have began those efforts.
At this time, residents are asked to allow professionals to do their jobs so that they can return to the island as quickly as possible.