Hurricane Irma preps for Southwest Florida -- Thursday updates

Hurricane Irma preps in SWFL - Thursday updates
Posted at 9:48 AM, Sep 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-07 16:17:50-04

COLLIER COUNTY (3:30pm) -- All Collier County Parks & Recreation facilities will be closed due to Hurricane Irma beginning Friday, September 8, 2017 until further notice. They will reopen after the storm passes and it is declared safe to operate.

For more information, call (239) 252-4000.


LEE HEALTH (3:10pm) -- Lee Health plans to continue operating acute care facilities during the storm.

In the event of power outages, Lee Health hospitals have back-up power supplies to ensure vital care is not interrupted.

Lee Health hospitals are not designated hurricane shelters; only special needs individuals who have been pre-registered and designated by the EOC will be sheltered. Others in the community needing to evacuate to shelters should monitor the Lee County Emergency Management website for information about public shelters. Women in their third trimester of pregnancy must be pre-qualified by their physician to be sheltered in the hospital.

The following closings have been announced:

  • Lee Physician Group offices will be closed Friday and Monday.
  • The Regional Cancer Center and Lee Health Outpatient Centers (not located within hospitals) will be closed Friday and Monday.
  • Lee Convenient Care at Page Field in Fort Myers and Pine Island Road in Cape Coral will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Lee Convenient Care at Summerlin Road will be closed Friday through Monday.
  • Both Wellness Center locations (Cape Coral and Fort Myers) will be closed Friday and Monday.


SANIBEL (3pm) -- The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife will be closed Friday 8 after 12 p.m. due to impending inclement weather from Hurricane Irma. The wildlife hospital and visitor center will remain closed until further notice.
CROW will continue to accept patients directly and via its drop-off veterinary partners in Fort Myers through Friday. After that time, wildlife emergencies should be kept in a warm, quiet area by the rescuer until the CROW hospital is able to resume operations or taken to those local veterinarians that are open.
In the event of an evacuation, students, key staff, educational ambassador animals, and fragile patients who can be maintained safely will be moved to a facility off-island where continuous care can be provided.


FORT MYERS (2:10pm) -- The City has announced that Fort Myers City Government offices, including utility billing and recreation facilities, will be closed on Friday. Recreation Facilities will also be closed through the weekend. No determination has been made yet about City operations on Monday.

Solid Waste crews will continue sanitation pickup on Friday. A separate announcement will be made about the sanitation pickup schedule.

Free, self-service Sand is available for Fort Myers residents at five locations. Residents are asked to provide their own sand bags and shovels for use at:

  • Shady Oaks Park - 3300 Marion St.
  • Alliance for the Arts - 10091 McGregor Blvd.
  • Fire Department Training Facility - 4540 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
  • Atlantic Coast Line train station/Fire Station No. 1 - 2300 Peck St.
  • Fire Station No. 5. - 9700 Treeline Ave.


ESTERO (1:15pm) -- Miromar Outlets will be closing at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in advance of Hurricane Irma.  The Outlets will reopen after the inclement weather passes.



  • City Hall will be closed today and Friday (9/8).
  • Today's first public hearing on the city budget has been canceled.  Re-schedule date is TBD.
  • Monday’s (9/11) special and regular City Council meetings have been canceled.
  • All Parks and Recreation programs through the weekend have been canceled.
  • Waste Pro trash pickup will continue through Friday morning.  Residents are asked to not put bulk items curbside at this time.  It is unknown whether or not those items will be able to be collected prior to the storm making landfall.  These items can become projectiles, potentially causing injury, property damage, or becoming a road obstruction.
  • Cape Coral Municipal Charter Schools and Lee County Schools are closed today and Friday (9/8).  Cape Coral Charter Schools will also be closed on Monday (9/11).


  • No mandatory evacuations have been ordered at this time. 
  • Please remember that once winds reach 40 MPH sustained, emergency services will be suspended.  9-1-1 will still take calls and add them to a queue.  Calls will be triaged and will be responded to once operations have resumed. 
  • Residents in low-lying and other vulnerable areas are urged to seek safer locations with friends and family.
  • Residents who plan to leave their homes are encouraged to take their pets and necessary supplies with them (see information in "Preparedness and Information Tips" menu tab.


  • No shelters are open at this time. As the storm approaches and more detailed information becomes available from the National Hurricane Center, decisions are expected later today regarding shelter openings and evacuations. The special needs shelter for REGISTERED individuals is expected to open later today.
  • Residents should continue to prepare by having a family disaster/evacuation plan, making sure their disaster supply kits are ready and by staying informed so they are ready to act when those evacuation orders are given.
  • As we get additional information from Lee County, we will provide updates.


LEE COUNTY (11:05am) -- Friday will be the last day for all regularly scheduled garbage, yard waste, bulky waste and recycling collections. There will be no collections Saturday.
Residents are reminded to remove anything outside their homes that could become a projectile during the storm including garbage cans, lids and recycle carts. Store them inside.
Regular household collections will begin as regularly scheduled as soon as possible after the storm.
For solid waste collection questions, call 239-533-8000.


COLLIER COUNTY (10:45am) -- Thursday morning the Board of Fire Commissioners declared a State of Emergency for the North Collier Fire District. They continue to wait for official word from the Collier County EOC on mandatory evacuations and shelter openings.

In the coming days, these are important emergency numbers to have on hand:

  • Collier County Information Hotline 239-252-8444 or 311
  • Special Needs 239-252-8809
  • Emergencies Dial 911
  • Non-Emergencies 239-252-9300

Please note, first responders do have restrictions during storms. If winds reach a sustained speed of 45 MPH vehicles will not be responding to emergency calls. The calls will continue to be received by the 911 center, logged and once the winds recede emergency care providers will begin to respond to the list of calls.


LEE COUNTY (10:30am) -- Authorities in Lee County held a press conference Thursday morning to give updates on storm preparations in the county.

Watch the press conference below:


DeSOTO COUNTY (10am) -- All DeSoto County Offices, including Tax Collector, Property Appraiser, Supervisor of Elections, Courts, and Clerk of Courts, will be closed starting Friday and will remain closed through the weekend. This includes the Library which is normally open on Saturday.

The Landfill will remain open Friday, and garbage pickup will occur Friday. The Landfill will close for the weekend. 

Emergency Management will remain open and we will monitor Hurricane Irma throughout the weekend.

A General Population Shelter will be opened at the DeSoto Middle School (420 East Gibson Street
Arcadia) at 1PM on Friday. This shelter is not pet ready.

A Special Needs shelter (for individuals who need mechanical aid or oxygen for survival) will be opened at the South Florida State College Campus on Friday, Time to be determined. You must register for this shelter.

For more information, please contact emergency management at 863-993-4831.

DART and the DeSoto County Landfill will be closed on Saturday.

County Government operations and facility closures are still being considered and we will update you as soon as a determination is made. 


COASTAL BEHAVIORAL (9:10am)-- All Coastal Behavioral Healthcare offices in Sarasota North Port, Punta Gorda and North Fort Myers as well as the administrative offices will be closed on Friday, September 8, 2017 due to the approach of Hurricane Irma.  Appointments can be rescheduled at a later date. 
The Crisis Stabilization Unit in Sarasota and Compass Center in Punta Gorda will continue operating as usual.


FORT MYERS -- Lighthouse of SWFL will be closed on Thursday, September 7, Friday, September 8, and Monday, September 11, 2017. The agency will reopen when the hurricane has passed and it has been declared safe to travel. 


COLLIER COUNTY -- The following Collier County public meetings and parks have been cancelled or closed in light of Hurricane Irma heading towards South Florida:

  • Collier County Planning Commission, which was scheduled for 9 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7, in the Board of County Commissioners chambers, third floor, Collier County Government Center, 3299 Tamiami Trail E., Naples, Florida 34112.
  • Growth Management Oversight Committee, which was scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7, in conference room 609-610 of the Growth Management Department Planning and Regulation building, 2800 N. Horseshoe Drive, Naples, Florida 34104.
  • Vanderbilt Beach Beautification Municipal Service Taxing Unit Advisory Committee, which was scheduled for 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7, in the Claussen Family Center at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 625 111th Ave. N., Naples, Florida 34108.
  • Radio Road Municipal Service Taxing Unit Advisory Committee, which was scheduled for 3 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 11, at The Sanctuary Club House, located at 7906 Haven Drive, Naples, Florida 34114.

Closed park facilities

  • Tigertail Beach Concessions (rentals and food concession) will be closed due to Hurricane Irma beginning Wednesday, Sept. 6, until further notice.
  • Caxambas Boating Park, Cocohatchee River Park, Goodland Boating Park and Port of the Islands Marina will close beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7, until further notice.




CHARLOTTE COUNTY -- Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners departments will be closed Thursday through Saturday, with some exceptions, due to Hurricane Irma.

Fire/EMS stations will remain open. The Charlotte County Landfill and recycling centers will close at the end of business Friday. Regular residential solid waste and recycling collections will occur Thursday and Friday. Charlotte County Transit will operate as scheduled on Thursday and Friday, but there will be no transit service on Saturday. No new ride reservations will be accepted beginning Thursday.

Community Development building inspections scheduled for Thursday will be prioritized. Non-priority inspections will be rescheduled. All Friday inspections will be rescheduled.

Community Services facilities will also be closed on Sunday.


FORT MYERS -- SalusCare will close its outpatient practices and community-based services at 12:00 noon on Thursday, September 7th as a result of Hurricane Irma, and will be closed all day on Friday, September 8th. In the event of an emergency, the community is encouraged to call 911.

No decision has been made yet whether the agency will resume full operations the week of September 11th. That decision will be made once the storm passes, in the interest of safety for patients and employees, and whether electric and water are available.


LEE COUNTY -- Due to the possibility of inclement from Hurricane Irma, early voting for the cities of Cape Coral and Fort Myers on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday is cancelled until further notice.

At this time, no decision has been made to resume Early Voting for the September 12, 2017, Primary Election.


NAPLES  --  Naples Botanical Garden will close Thursday, September 7 in anticipation of Hurricane Irma and surrounding inclement weather. All classes and events scheduled to be held in the Garden through Sunday, September 10 are cancelled.


COLLIER COUNTY -- The Collier County Bureau of Emergency Services announces the opening of the Collier Information Hotline: (239) 252-8444 or 311 (Collier County only) and will be open until further notice.


LEE COUNTY -- Due to the approach of Hurricane Irma, the following government offices are closed Thursday and Friday in Lee County:

  • Lee County BoCC Departments (except essential employees)
  • Lee County Clerk of Courts
  • 20th Circuit Court
  • Lee County Tax Collector
  • Lee County Supervisor of Elections?
  • Lee County Property Appraiser


CITY OF FORT MYERS -- All city meetings have been cancelled for the rest of the week.


GLADES COUNTY -- The following Glades County shelters will open at 5:50pm Friday:

Maple Grove Baptist Church, 12777 E. State Road 78, Moore Haven (350 people)
West Glades Elementary, 2586 C.R. 731, Building 500, LaBelle (330 people)
Moore Haven High School Gym, 700 Terrier Pride Drive SW, Moore Haven (500 people)

PSN ONLY: West Glades Elementary **must be registered** (60 people)

Sexual offenders have to shelter at the Glades County Sheriff’s Office


SANIBEL -- The Sanibel Community House has closed due to Hurricane Irma.  There is no scheduled reopen date at this time.


CHARLOTTE COUNTY --  In accordance with county code, all non-primary signs must be removed or otherwise prevented from becoming a potential projectile during tropical storms or hurricanes.

This applies to any temporary signs, banners, flutter flags and any other type of removable sign. In anticipation of the impacts of Hurricane Irma, please remove ALL non-primary signs or secure them to ensure they do not become a projectile.

For more information, contact the Charlotte County Community Development Department at 941.743.1201 or



CHARLOTTE COUNTY -- Construction materials and debris can cause significant damage if unsecured during a wind storm. In preparation for anticipated poor weather conditions resulting from Hurricane Irma, the Building Official requires that all construction sites be made safe. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Removal of all unsecured roofing materials from roofs;
  • Ensure all construction debris is secured or placed in a dumpster on site;
  • Where possible, ensure your onsite dumpster is covered;
  • Secure all materials that could be blown around in high winds;
  • Remove permit yard card board and all job site signage; and,
  • If applicable, locate and turn off electricity, water and gas.



LEE COUNTY -- All Lee County Tax Collector office locations will be closed Thursday and Friday.  They anticipate closure again on Monday, September 11.


CHARLOTTE COUNTY -- At this time, no shelters have been opened in Charlotte County. Should the need arise, shelter openings will be announced on the Charlotte County Emergency Management website and social media pages.


CHARLOTTE COUNTY -- Special Needs Shelters will be available for those individuals that require medical assistance that is not available at a regular shelter.

Only basic medical assistance and monitoring will be available. Oxygen will be provided to persons who require it. All persons admitted to the Special Needs Shelter must be accompanied by a care giver.

You may be eligible for a special needs shelter if you: have special medical needs that do not require hospitalization, need assistance with basic everyday tasks, or have a chronic condition that requires assistance.

At this time, no Special Needs Shelters have been opened. However, pre-registering for a special needs shelter is recommended. Contact the Emergency Operations Center at 941-833-4000 to confirm your eligibility and get registered.


STATE OFFICES -- Governor Rick Scott directed state offices to be closed in all 67 Florida counties this Friday in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Prior to Friday’s statewide closures, state office closures will follow the direction of county officials and will be announced as they are determined.

The Governor also issued a call to state employees across Florida encouraging them to volunteer in support of the state’s emergency shelter mobilization efforts.


CHARLOTTE COUNTY -- There has been no evacuation order issued for Charlotte County at this time. However, if people have a place to go Charlotte County Emergency Management encourages residents to do so, to avoid road congestion should an evacuation be ordered.

People living on the barrier islands should have plans in place and reminded if the island is ordered to evacuate, Fire and EMS station 10 staff are required to evacuate as well.


ROAD TOLLS SUSPENDED -- Governor Rick Scott has directed the Florida Department of Transportation to suspend tolls across the entire State of Florida beginning at 5pm Tuesday in preparation for Hurricane Irma.

**NOTE** -- This declaration does NOT affect Lee County tolls at this time.  Lee County government is not suspending its tolls on any of its bridges (Sanibel, Midpoint or Cape Coral) at this time.

By suspending all tolls, Floridians and visitors will more easily be able to prepare for any potential storm impacts, access important hurricane supplies, and quickly and safely evacuate when necessary.


COLLIER COUNTY -- A special county commission meeting will be held at 12pm on Wednesday.


EDISON & FORD WINTER ESTATES -- Edison & Ford Winter Estates will be closed to visitors on Thursday, September 7 and will remain closed through Monday, September 11. Visitors should call 239-334-7419 and speak with a staff person before planning their visit.

Crews are installing storm shutters, and high-priority items are being moved from the historic structures to the museum for safety.


BIG CYPRESS NATIONAL PRESERVE -- Effective noon on September 6th, Big Cypress National Preserve visitor centers and administrative facilities will be closed in preparation for the landfall of Hurricane Irma.
Recreational use, including backcountry trails, campgrounds, and hunting access into the preserve will close at noon on September 6th. If the track or speed of the storm changes, the backcountry and hunting closures may change.
LEE COUNTY GARBAGE PICKUP -- Garbage and recycling collections are one day later than usual this week, due to the Labor Day holiday, but will continue as scheduled until tropical storm force winds reach a sustained rate of 39 mph - provided there are no bridge or road closures.

Remove anything outside your home that could become a projectile during a storm including your garbage cans, lids and recycle carts and store them inside.

Regular household collections will begin as regularly scheduled as soon as possible after the storm.

COLLIER COUNTY  -- As of Tuesday morning, there are no evacuations for Collier County but now is the time to prepare for Hurricane Irma. Her path is still uncertain as it approaches the State of Florida but Governor Rick Scott has declared a State of Emergency as first responders continue to monitor the storm.

To prepare at home or for possible evacuations, North Collier Fire is asking everyone to put together a 72-hour go kit today.