Is Fort Myers, Florida Evacuating Because of Hurricane Irma?

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Hurricane Irma Jacksonville, Hurricane Irma NASA, Hurricane Irma trackGetty

Hurricane Irma from space.

With Hurricane Irma posing a severe threat to Florida, many people are wondering whether Fort Myers, Florida is evacuating.

The answer, as of September 6, was that there were no mandatory evacuations ordered for Fort Myers and Lee County.

“There are no open shelters and no mandatory evacuations at this time,” the city wrote on its Emergency Management website. The website link has an interactive map in which you can select layers for open shelters, evacuation routes, active evacuations, and evacuation zones, if it comes to that.

However, that information is date specific and could change as Irma nears Florida. The county says it could announce a mandatory evacuation decision as early as September 7. According to Emergency Management, “Decisions about mandatory evacuations will be announced, most likely on Thursday. No shelters are open. Decisions about which general-population shelters may open at which dates and times will be announced. We anticipate that announcement Thursday.”

According to News-Press.com, writing on September 6, officials are worried the Fort Myers public will mistakenly think that recent forecast models showing the hurricane moving east means the area won’t feel Irma’s wrath. The models are just projections, and the hurricane is very unpredictable.

On September 6, the county also advised:

“While the Special Needs Registration closes once Lee County enters the five-day error cone, residents who are not currently registered can go to a general-population shelter when and if they open. Once there, these residents will be triaged and if needed, transported to other facilities that can better meet their needs.”

According to the county, “People can pick up sand at various locations. People should bring shovels and their own bags. If sandbags cannot be found, other items such as pillow cases, garbage bags and rolled tarps can be used. Here is an updated list as of Wednesday afternoon:”

LOCATION
5850 BUCKINGHAM RD., LEHIGH
12345 PALM BEACH BLVD., FORT MYERS
2660 STYLES RD., ALVA
5700 PINE ISLAND RD., BOKEELIA
17350 NALLE RD., NORTH FORT MYERS
11901 REGIONAL LN., FORT MYERS
1280 BARRETT RD. NORTH FORT MYERS
2900 TRAIL DAIRY CIR., NORTH FORT MYERS FD
8013 SANIBEL BLVD., FORT MYERS
27701 BONITA GRANDE DR., BONITA SPRINGS
1000 JOEL BLVD., LEHIGH
3102 16TH ST SW., LEHIGH
TROPICAL SHORES WAY ST., FORT MYERS
750 DUNLOP RD., SANIBEL
8860 DANIELS PARKWAY., FORT MYERS
360 EAST RAILROAD AVE., BOCA GRANDE
6061 SOUTH POINTE BLVD., FORT MYERS

“The United Way 211 Help Line is activated for those with questions. Although call takers are receiving many inquiries, the United Way 211 line is responding to all calls,” the county added.

The county has a help line. “The 211 Help Line is now up and running for people who have questions or need information related to the storm. To access the Help Line, dial 2-1-1 or 239-433-3900. United Way 211 staff will assist by providing information from the Lee County Emergency Operations Center and also will connect people to resources that may help. The 211 Help Line is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Lee County wrote.

Earlier on September 6, the county wrote, “As we get more precise information on local impacts from Irma, evacuation and sheltering decisions will be announced. This will most likely happen on Thursday and Friday, based on the forecast. Earliest arrival of Tropical Storm force winds would be in the Saturday timeframe. As a reminder, not all shelters open for every storm and shelter openings are based on storm characteristics like wind and storm surge. No shelters are open at this time. 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.”

The weather forecast for Fort Myers early on September 7 says that hurricane conditions are possible on Sunday night and tropical storm conditions are possible on Sunday.

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The threat of direct impact on Florida had increased late on September 6, according to The National Hurricane Center.

Recent modeling has shown that the hurricane might take a northern turn and shift east, which would be good news for Fort Myers, but this is far from certain.

Is Tampa evacuating?

National Hurricane Center

Read about recent spaghetti models here:

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