FORT MYERS, FL (Aug. 29, 2019) – The city is monitoring Hurricane Dorian, anticipating significant wind and rain this Labor Day weekend. City staff is on standby until further mobilization is required depending on the severity of the event. To receive information and alerts, download the LeePrepares app and sign up for AlertLee notifications.
Preparations for the rainy season occur throughout the year, as the city devotes more than $4 million to maintaining public rights-of-way and stormwater management programs in coordination with the South Florida Water Management District, Lee County and the Florida Department of Natural Resources. The city doubled its alternative power sources since Hurricane Irma, spending more than $1 million on increased capacity for lift stations.
Flooding is a concern, with above-average rainfall leaving the ground saturated. City crews are checking outfalls to ensure proper water handling. Homeowner associations and privately maintained stormwater systems are encouraged to check and clean outfalls prior to the anticipated storm events. To prevent potential flooding, residents and businesses can assist by clearing trash and horticultural debris away from street drains that may become clogged.
Power outages can disrupt lift stations used to pump wastewater to the city’s treatment facilities. In anticipation of a major storm, the city reduces levels of wastewater at lift stations in order to provide more holding capacity. The city can and will deploy portable generators and pumps for temporary relief of wastewater emergencies. Homeowners are encouraged to follow responsible water conservation practices in the event of a major storm power outage.
The canal system is actively monitored with weirs and gates adjusted to provide maximum capacity. Ford Street Canal armoring, Billy Creek dredging and North Colonial Waterway clearing projects were completed this summer. Staff continues to monitor swales in addition to the proactive removal of plants, trees and debris that could inhibit water flow. The city is also working with Lee County and FDOT maintenance crews to prepare drainage systems.
City staff evaluates the most critical areas for reestablishing flowways. Please report blocked ditches, swales, canals and areas of local flooding to the city at 239-321-8100. The same number can be used to report lift station emergency alarms by providing the number stenciled on the lift station control box and the street name. Residents are asked to reserve use of 9-1-1 for emergencies only. For more information on local emergency resources, please visit the City of Fort Myers Storm Center at https://www.cityftmyers.com/1145/Storm-Center.