Lee County increased its mandatory evacuation zone Tuesday afternoon by adding part of Area C to Areas A and B already under the order.
As Hurricane Ian moves ever closer to a possible landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast, likely Wednesday evening, Charlotte and Collier counties joined Lee earlier Tuesday in issuing mandatory evacuation orders and open shelters.
Further north, Sarasota and Manatee also issued evacuation orders.
Around 4 p.m., Lee County increased its mandatory evacuation order by adding parts of C to all evacuation zones A and B.
Area C includes portions of an area along US 41 south of Colonial Boulevard as well as areas in Cape Coral west of Chiquita Boulevard, south of Veterans Parkway and other locations.
County Executive Roger DesJarlais and other county officials announced the evacuation during an early morning briefing.
The evacuation came after a hurricane warning was issued for Lee County. The county also issued a local state of emergency.
“We cannot legally force people off the islands, but we do recommend that they go,” DesJarlais said. “There are around 250,000 people in (these areas).”
DesJarlais also said residents living in mobile or manufactured homes should also plan to evacuate.
County officials urged residents to verify information and maps on leegov.com.
Ten emergency shelters opened around 9 a.m. Tuesday, he said.
“They are all pet friendly,” DesJarlais said. “People see them as part of the family.”
Additionally, DesJarlais said the county’s emergency operations center on Ortiz Avenue is now fully activated.
Lee County Housing, Outreach and Treatment teams and outreach staff are coordinating with homeless people to arrange transportation from LeeTran to area shelters as Hurricane Ian approaches.
People experiencing homelessness have been invited to visit the following nearby places this morning for information on transport and accommodation:
- Lion Park, 2550 Cleveland Ave, Fort Myers
- Fort Myers Regional Library, 2450 First St., Fort Myers
- Rosa Parks Transportation Center, 2250 Widman Way, Fort Myers
- Edison Transfer Station, 4125 Cleveland Ave, Fort Myers
- Cape Coral Transfer Center, 820 SE 47th Terrace, Cape Coral
- Mall on the east side of US 41 and the Hancock Bridge in North Fort Myers.
- Fort Myers Beach Park & Ride, 11101 Summerlin Square Dr, Fort Myers Beach
- Schandler Hall, 419 Royal Palm Park Road, Fort Myers
LeeTran will suspend service at 4 p.m. Tuesday and no service will be available for Wednesday, September 28. Anyone who is unable to engage with the HOT team or outreach staff is asked to find the nearest LeeTran bus stop and notify the driver. would like to go to a shelter.
All LeeTran fares are suspended today, and all buses will stop at 4 p.m. and will not resume until accessibility and safety are assessed for Thursday.
To see the current list of shelters: https://www.leegov.com/hurricane/storm
Residents of evacuation zones are asked to refrain from taking out garbage, recycling or yard waste before leaving the zone. For those not in the evacuation zones, regular pickup will take place today as scheduled. On Wednesday, services will be suspended across the county and reassessed as the emergency unfolds.
Charlotte County opened storm shelters in Port Charlotte at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Charlotte County Emergency Management has ordered the evacuation of Zone A red areas. This includes the barrier islands of Don Pedro Island, Knight Island (Palm Island), Little Gasparilla Island , Gasparilla Island and Manasota Key. The evacuation order also covers anyone living in mobile homes or caravans.
On Tuesday afternoon, that evacuation order was extended to Zone B orange areas. Charlotte County Director of Emergency Management Patrick Fuller said the decision to extend the evacuation order stemmed from a change in the predicted storm track that makes a life-threatening storm surge more likely. The county is expected to experience a storm surge of 6 to 12 feet. Charlotte’s evacuation order now covers about 120,000 people, or about two-thirds of the county’s population. “I’m not advising anyone to stay,” Fuller said during a Tuesday afternoon press briefing.
“If someone makes the decision to do this, to stay in a red or orange evacuation zone, we cannot provide any assistance at that time. There is a good chance that there will be a wave of deadly storm in the area. My advice is now out of the evacuation zones.”
All shelters in Charlotte County accept pets. Anyone planning to go to a shelter should bring a Go kit that includes a three-day supply of food and water, toiletries, medicine, bedding, phone chargers, and anything else you might need . For those bringing pets, be sure to bring your own pet food and other supplies as well as a pet crate or carrier and ID tags and health records .
The shelters open in Charlotte County are:
Kingsway Primary School, 23300 Quasar Blvd, Port Charlotte
Liberty Primary School, 370 Atwater Street, Port Charlotte
Neil Armstrong Primary School, 22100 Breezeswept Avenue, Port Charlotte
Harold Ave. Regional Park Recreation Center, 23400 Harold Ave., Port Charlotte
Babcock School Grounds, 43301 Cypress Pkwy, Punta Gorda.
Due to potential hazards from Hurricane Ian, Collier County has issued a Mandatory Evacuation Notice for A-area, those living in the immediate coastal areas, west and south of US Highway 41/Tamiami Trail, in flood-prone low-lying areas and mobile homes.
For those evacuating but have other options available to them, shelters for the general population opened at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27e last resort.
The following general population shelters that accept pets will open:
- Oak Ridge Middle School, 14975 Collier Blvd, Naples
- Corkscrew Middle School, 1165 Oil Well Rd, Naples
- Golden Gate College, 2701 48e SW terrace. Naples
- Immokalee Middle School, 401 North 9e ST, Immokalee
Marco Island issued a mandatory evacuation on Tuesday afternoon, urging all residents to leave the island and citing a 6-9ft storm surge.
Highlands County Shelter/Evacuations:
A voluntary evacuation of flood prone areas and non-slab built homes (trailer trailers, RVs, mobile homes) has been issued for our county.
SPECIAL NEEDS shelter open at 2 p.m.
Bert J. Harris Agricultural Center, 4509 George Blvd., Sebring
At this point, registrants with special needs who have registered and been approved should have been contacted by Highlands County Emergency Management staff to arrange shelter.
To register, click highlandsfl.gov/departments/PublicSafety/special_needs_shelter_application.php
Opening of the POPULATION GENERALE refuge at 4 p.m.
Alan Jay Arena (Firemens Field), 781 Magnolia Ave., Sebring
Food and water will not be provided in any of the shelters. Please bring enough food and water for you and your loved ones for up to 3 days.
Manatee and Sarasota shelters/evacuations: In Sarasota County, an evacuation order has been issued for Level A, including Longboat Key and primarily coastal areas of the county. The evacuation order also covers people living in ships, recreational vehicles, and mobile and manufactured homes. Emergency shelters in Sarasota open at noon on September 27. Click here to find your level.
In Manatee County, a mandatory evacuation order was issued for people in Areas A and B with a voluntary evacuation issued for Area C. Manatee County emergency shelters opened September 27 at 8 a.m. in the morning. Click here to find your area.
Water will be shut off to residents and businesses in Siesta Key, Casey Key, Anna Maria Island and parts of Longboat Key on Tuesday in anticipation of Hurricane Ian.
Shelters in manatee counties will be in the following locations: (note: not all shelters accept pets)
Bayshore Elementary School, 6120 26th St. W., Bradenton
Braden River High School, 6545 State Road 70 E., Bradenton (pet-friendly shelter)
Braden River Middle School, 6215 River Club Blvd., Bradenton
Daughtrey Elementary, 515 63rd Ave. E., Bradenton
Freedom Elementary School, 9515 State Road 64 E., Bradenton
Gullett Elementary School, 12125 44th Ave. E., Bradenton
Haile Middle School, 9501 State Road 64 E., Bradenton
Johnson-Wakeland School of International Baccalaureate, 2121 26th Ave. E., Bradenton
Lee Middle School, 4000 53rd Ave. W., Bradenton
Manatee High School, 902 33rd St. Court W., Bradenton (pet-friendly shelter)
McNeal Elementary School, 6325 Lorraine Road, Bradenton
Miller Elementary School, 601 43rd St.W., Bradenton
Oneco Elementary School, 5214 22nd St. Court E., Bradenton
Prine Elementary School, 3801 Southern Parkway, Bradenton
Rogers Garden Elementary School, 515 13th Ave. W., Bradenton
Seabreeze Elementary School, 3601 71st St. W., Bradenton
Willis Elementary School, 14705 The Masters Ave., Bradenton
Witt Elementary School, 200 Rye Road, Bradenton
Myakka City Elementary School, 37205 Manatee Avenue, Myakka City
Buffalo Creek Middle School, 7320 69th St.E., Palmetto
Mills Elementary School, 7200 69th St. E., Palmetto (pet-friendly shelter)
Tillman Elementary School, 1415 29th St.E., Palmetto
Harvey Elementary School, 8610 115th Ave. E., Parrish
Williams Elementary School, 3404 ft. Hamer Road, Parrish
Kinnan Elementary School, 3415 Tellevast Road, Sarasota
Sarasota County shelters will be in the following locations:
Atwater Elementary School, 4701 Huntsville Ave., North Port (pet-friendly shelter)
Heron Creek Middle School, 6501 West Price Blvd., North Port (pet-friendly shelter)
North Port High School, 6400 West Price Blvd., North Port (pet-friendly shelter)
Woodland Middle School, 2700 Panacea Blvd., North Port (pet-friendly shelter)
Booker High School, 3201 North Orange Ave., Sarasota (pet-friendly shelter)
Brookside Middle School, 3636 South Shade Ave., Sarasota (pet-friendly shelter)
Fruitville Elementary School, 601 North Honore Ave., Sarasota (pet-friendly shelter)
Gulf Gate Elementary School, 6500 South Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota (pet-friendly shelter)
Phillippi Shores Elementary, 4747 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (pet-friendly shelter)
Riverview High School, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota (pet-friendly shelter)
Southside Elementary School, 1901 Webber St., Sarasota (pet-friendly shelter)
Taylor Ranch Elementary School, 2500 Taylor Ranch Trail, Venice (pet-friendly shelter)
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