City of Palms Post- irma recovery
Downed Tree and Light

City Emergency Management Takes Action

When Hurricane Irma's five-day forecast cone reached Southwest Florida, the City of Fort Myers' emergency management team immediately took action.  On Tuesday, September 5, City leaders began activation of Fort Myers' emergency plan to ensure the safety of our citizens before, during, and after Hurricane Irma.
Some of the many tasks on our to-do list included:

Hurricane Preparation:

  • Declaring a local state of emergency in preparation for the storm on Sept. 5
  • Providing 45 truck loads of sand for residents to protect their homes
  • Clearing the city's stormwater system to minimize the impact of potential storm surge and flooding
  • Processing wastewater to create extra capacity in case of power outage
  • Coordinating with the Lee County School District for transportation to shelters from transportation-disadvantaged neighborhoods
  • Informing the public of mandatory evacuations, shelter locations, closures, and services available
  • Coordinating with Lee County Emergency Operations
  • Answering more than 1,050 phone calls to the City's 24-hour response line throughout the emergency
Hurricane Infrastructure Recovery:
  • Clearing major roadways immediately after the storm to create safe passage for first responders
  • Performing an immediate street-by-street assessment of hazards within the community
  • Reinstating yard waste pickup within two days
  • Reinstating solid waste pickup within three days
  • Providing traffic control at dozens of intersections without power
  • Ensuring a safe water supply throughout the emergency-- No boil notices were needed for the City water system.
Hurricane Community Recovery:
  • Distributing more than 30,000 Meals Ready-to-Eat to residents
  • Distributing more than 1,500 cases of water to residents
  • Distributing more than 200 cases of bananas to residents
  • Distributing more than 116,000 pounds of ice to residents
  • Coordinating with the Lee County School District to provide transportation to food distribution sites
  • Quickly responding to reports of wastewater issues
  • Organizing a free laundry day for residents without electricity or laundry facilities
  • Setting up community dumpsters for perishable goods disposal
  • Waiving permit fees for Irma-related repairs and construction
  • Creating a satellite permitting office for Irma-related permit applications

Washing Machine

City to Provide Laundry Relief on Thursday Sept. 21

The City is providing relief to residents that have been unable to wash their laundry because of  Hurricane Irma.  On Thursday, Sept. 21, citizens will be able to wash and dry up to three loads of laundry free of charge from noon until 8:00 p.m. at K&M Wash House locations in Fort Myers:

Residents are strongly encouraged to pre-register via phone Thursday morning between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.  Pre-registrants can call 239-321-7445 to reserve a time slot and avoid lines.
Bring your own laundry care products (detergent, dryer sheets, etc.).  Please do not arrive before 11:30 a.m.  The last wash will begin at 7:00 p.m. 
Residents needing special assistance should contact the city via the pre-registration phone number: 239-321-7445.

Permitting - Building Division

Building Permit Fees Waived for Irma-Related Repairs

The City is providing relief for property owners who are suffering Hurricane Irma-related hardships, by temporarily waiving building and inspection permit fees for repairs related to storm damages.  The waiver extends until November 14, 2017. 

The waiver only applies to hurricane-related repairs. Construction must still meet City of Fort Myers building code.

Debris Truck

Storm Debris and Solid Waste Resume Quickly

The City of Fort Myers has double the usual number of yard waste trucks on the roads to clean up Hurricane Irma debris as quickly as possible.  Fort Myers was the first municipality in the region to resume horticultural waste pickups after the storm, with service restarting on September 12. 

To assist in cleanup efforts, please follow these guidelines:

  • Pile yard debris no more than four feet from the curb.
  • Do not obstruct the roadways or visibility with your yard waste.
  • Please do not place your debris into storm drains or swales.
  • Keep your yard waste separate from other waste set out for disposal.
  • Please do not place horticultural debris into containers.  This will assist with FEMA documentation.
  • Keep horticultural waste piles away from obstacles like mailboxes, poles, or trees.

City residential and commercial solid waste and recyclable items are being collected on their normal schedule.  If you have any questions concerning your service, please contact the City of Fort Myers 24-hour response line at (239) 321-8100. 


Why Conserve Water in an Emergency?

Why do municipalities ask their citizens to conserve water during recovery from emergencies?  Because water conservation practices can help to prevent sewage overflows, spills, and other issues.

Power outages like those experienced during Hurricane Irma can disrupt the lift stations that send wastewater to treatment plants.  Without power, lift stations cannot transport sewage, and sewage can overflow and even back up into homes.

The City’s Public Works department encourages these responsible water conservation practices:

  • Please limit toilet flushing
  • If you need to take a shower, make it brief. 
  • Limit the amount of water used to take a bath
  • Do not run the dishwasher or your clothes washing machine
  • Make sure your automatic sprinklers are turned off

Residents should refrain from tampering with their sewer cleanouts. Instead, citizens who notice a wastewater spill or who have questions about their water service may call the City call center at 239-321-8100. 


Primary Election Date Changed to October 3

Because of Hurricane Irma, the City’s primary election date has been changed to October 3, 2017, following Governor Rick Scott’s Executive Order No. 244.  The change helps to protect the integrity of the electoral process and provide for maximum citizen participation in the election after Hurricane Irma.  
Early voting dates were rescheduled to September 28th, 29th, and 30th in coordination with Lee County Supervisor of Elections. Early voting sites will remain the same:

  • The Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers (4224 Renaissance Preserve Way)
  • Dunbar Jupiter Hammon Public Library (3095 Blount St.)
  • Fort Myers Regional Library (2450 First St.)
  • Fire Station No. 5 (9700 Treeline Ave.)


How to Sign Up for FEMA Assistance

Lee County residents seeking assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, have several options:

  • Apply online at
  • Apply through the FEMA App on smart phones
  • Call calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EDT daily until further notice. 
Applicants should be prepared with their Social Security number, daytime telephone number, current mailing address and address and zip code of the damaged property, private insurance information, if available. When you register, you will receive a unique registration number. Please keep this important number handy. 

Operation Blue Roof

Operation Blue Roof Provides Temporary Repairs

Operation Blue Roof provides no-cost temporary repairs for roofs damaged by Hurricane Irma. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors will install the temporary roof covering at no cost to property owners.

  • Only primary residences with standard shingled roofs are eligible for the program.
  • Metal roofs and mobile homes will be repaired as practical on a case by case basis.
  • Roofs with greater than 50 percent structural damage are not eligible.

To get assistance, you must sign a “Right of Entry” (ROE) form to allow Corps staff and contractors to access your private property and assess roof damage. To find an ROE signup site near you, Call 888-ROOF-BLU (888-766-3258).

SWFL Hurricane Relief Fund

Fund Established for Hurricane Irma Relief in SWFL

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation has joined forces with the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee to create a giving fund for nonprofits who can help individuals in the aftermath of those affected by Hurricane Irma.

Donors can give at or by texting GIVESWFL to 444999.  Contributions are tax deductible. One hundred percent of the funds donated through the Southwest Florida Community Foundation will be used to provide emergency funds to directly help people in Southwest Florida.

Construction worker

Be on the Lookout for Scams & Cons

Hurricane Irma left many of us with damage to our homes or businesses.  Doing your homework can protect you from con artists and home improvement scammers. Follow these tips to help you steer clear of scammers:

  • Avoid door-to-door solicitations at all costs.
  • Be wary of anyone using high-pressure sales tactics, quoting too-good to-be-true prices, or asking for payment upfront.
  • Find a reputable contractor using referrals from friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
  • Check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau,
  • Contact the DBPR (Division of Business and Professional Regulation) to verify professional licensing at
  • Confirm they have a business tax receipt with your county or city tax department (In The City of Fort Myers, call 239-321-7989)
  • Check the Division of Workers’ Compensation for proof of coverage
  • Ask for proof of general liability insurance
  • Insist on a written contract detailing the work to be done, terms of service, etc
  • Never pay in full before the work is finished, especially when paying with cash.
Please report unlicensed contractors attempting to perform work on any structure to the Code Enforcement Division at 239-321-7940.


Standing Water Raises Mosquito Concerns

Lee County Mosquito Control District (LCMCD) is predicting a large mosquito outbreak as a result of Hurricane Irma’s heavy rains and flooding. Large areas of standing water can produce large numbers of mosquitoes. Treatments to control adult mosquitoes began on Monday, Sept. 18th.  Residents of Lee County may encounter adult mosquitoes for several days before experiencing relief from LCMCD control efforts.

Follow these precautions to protect yourself from mosquitoes:

  • Apply insect repellent.
  • Wear light-colored clothing that covers most of your skin.
  • Ensure or restore all window and door screens are secure and functional.
  • Check around your home to rid the area of standing water, where mosquitoes can lay their eggs. 

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