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Irma leaves island powerless

September 13, 2017
Eagle Staff Reports ( , Pine Island Eagle

Hurricane Irma whipped through Pine Island Sunday, its Category 2-strength winds toppling trees, crunching carports, falling fences and leaving lots of debris.

Winds also downed power lines, leaving much of the island still without power Tuesday.

As of 6 p.m., 5,109 of LCEC's 7,098 island customers remained without electricity.

Article Photos

A downed palm tree on 8th Avenue
in St. James City.


Still, progress is being made, according to LCEC officials.

"Line crews made great progress today in most parts of the service territory," the co-op said in its update. "We are working on the main circuits in Immokalee and Everglades City, which had the worst impact, and once those are repaired we will begin to bring customers back in those areas."

Customers do not need to call about their outages.

"LCEC is aware of the areas still without power and 500 crews and 100s of support people are working long and hard to restore power to everyone quickly and safely," officials said.

With the power out, Lee County issued a generator warning Tuesday after 21 people, including children, were taken to area hospitals in the wake of the storm due to suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.

"CO is a colorless, odorless gas that is a byproduct of combustion," county officials said in the warning. "The exhaust from generators contains this gas, and keeping the exhaust away from the home and any ventilation in to the home is imperative. Never use a portable electric generator indoors or in an attached garage.

"Residents should run generators in a well-ventilated, dry area away from intakes into the home and protected from rain; an ideal spot would be under a canopy away from the home or in an open, freestanding shed."

The installing carbon monoxide alarms inside the residence as a protection against the gas emitted from generators is also recommended.

Residents can call 239-337-2000 and request a check of your generator exhaust. This is done at no cost by local fire departments and districts.

The Lee County Department of Transportation issued a post-Irma update on Tuesday.

Lee County DOT will increase the number of crews clearing debris off roads and streets in Lehigh Acres to 10 crews on Wednesday, officials said.

Meanwhile, DOT crews continue to check Lehigh for drainage issues, the release states.

As of Tuesday afternoon, roads closed due to high water countywide include:

Burnt Store Road from Gulfstream Parkway to Durden Parkway

Orange River Boulevard from Long Lake Drive to Shady River Lane

Roads under water with signs posted:

Bonita Beach Road at Imperial Parkway

Bonita Beach Road at Oakland Drive

Bonita Beach Road at Downs Drive

Bonita Grande Boulevard at Bonita Beach Road

Bonita Grande Drive at East Terry Street

East Terry Street at Kent Road

Pinecrest Lane at East Terry Street

Dean Street west of Imperial Parkway

Imperial Parkway north of Bonita Beach Road

Constitution Circle at Cypress Drive North

Cemetery Road east of Buckingham Road

Pritchett Parkway south of Rich Road

Lee Boulevard at Leonard Boulevard

Lee Boulevard at Westgate Boulevard

DOT has completed work clearing streets and roads on Captiva.

For residents dealing with more than loss of power and water and street flooding, online registration has been set up to report property loss.

Property owners with losses due to Hurricane Irma in Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pinellas, and Sarasota Counties may now register for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to state and federal officials.

Individuals can register online or through the FEMA App.

The state also warns again repair scams.

"If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is and could be fraud," said Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis in a prepared statement. "Opportunistic scammers may attempt to defraud Floridians following Hurricane Irma, and I encourage all Floridians to be vigilant in guarding against fraud. Floridians should report suspicious activity ASAP by calling 1-877-693-5236."



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