FORT MYERS, FL (September 5, 2017) – Fort Myers Mayor Randall P. Henderson, Jr. opened the September 5 City Council meeting by declaring a state of local emergency for the City of Fort Myers, due to the severity and magnitude of Hurricane Irma.
“The City of Fort Myers may sustain significant, widespread damage to public utilities, public communications systems, public streets and roads, public drainage systems, commercial and residential buildings and areas,” states the resolution, which was read by Mayor Henderson.
The City of Fort Myers is closely monitoring Hurricane Irma as it approaches the northern Leeward Islands in the Caribbean. Hurricane Irma is a potentially catastrophic Category 5 storm with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour. It is the strongest storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean Basin. The City of Fort Myers is located within Hurricane Irma’s five-day forecast cone.
The state of emergency proclamation activates the City’s disaster emergency plans and provides the City with the authority to distribute and activate supplies, equipment, materials, and facilities needed to pursue those plans. It also provides the city with the power to waive some procedures and formalities in order to take action to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community. The City’s emergency management code can be found in the City of Fort Myers Code of Ordinances, Chapter 22, Article II.
“This is likely to be an historic event for our City,” states Mayor Henderson. “I want to commend citizens around the city. They are taking this very seriously. City staff is working vigilantly and diligently to maintain the safety of our City and its citizens, and we pray for the safety of all of our citizens.”
While it is still too early to determine the impact that Hurricane Irma could make in Fort Myers, residents are advised to prepare for a possible landfall by making sure that every household has an emergency plan and necessary supplies. Citizens are urged to stay alert to changes in the forecast and monitor local media for storm updates.
Residents are strongly encouraged to sign up for Code Red, an emergency community notification service. A link to Code Red’s signup page can be found at www.cityftmyers.com. Additionally, smartphone users can download the Code Red mobile application through iTunes or Google Play. A direct link to the Code Red signup page can also be found here: https://public.coderedweb.com/cne/en-US/35B9EAD73F60.
Citizens with questions or who need information are encouraged to call the 2-1-1 Help Line by dialing 2-1-1 or 239-433-3900. United Way 2-1-1 staff will assist by providing information from the Lee County Operations Center. The 2-1-1 Help Line is operational 24 hours a day. The City Call Center is also open for those who need assistance: 239-321-8100. Residents are asked to reserve use of 9-1-1 for life safety emergencies only.
The City will continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Irma and issue more updates as the storm approaches Florida.