Hurricane Ian Recovery, Day 7


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on October 6, 2022 | Sundance 

It was a week ago Wednesday, around 1:00pm, when Hurricane Ian first approached the coast of southwest Florida.  In the aftermath, once again the coastal topography has changed.

Incredibly, rescue workers are still going through rubble on Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, Pine Island and Matlacha while recovery operations continue in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Arcadia, Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte.  Approximately 50% of Lee and Desoto counties are still without power and water.

The closer to the SWFL coast, the more devastating the infrastructure is damaged.  However, the inland areas were also heavily impacted by wind damage and historic flooding.  Hurricane Ian left a wide swath of chaos in his slow and sizeable wake.

On a positive note, there are fewer helicopter flights crisscrossing overhead, which would indicate most of the barrier islands have been searched and residents rescued in one of the largest air mobilizations in Florida hurricane history.  The flights seem more focused on delivering personnel, equipment and supplies for recovery efforts.

The rednecks and roughnecks also delivered a remarkable accomplishment today, opening a temporary bridge to Pine Island.   A few days before Governor Ron DeSantis announced the State DOT effort to help build the temporary bridge, locals from Honc Marine were already in ‘git r done‘ mode.

Incredibly a week after Hurricane Ian took out the bridge connecting Pine Island to Cape Coral, the temporary bridge was finished and five semi tractors/trailers from Publix Supermarket were first to cross into Pine Island with relief supplies. {Direct Rumble Link}  WATCH:

Matlacha, the small area between Cape Coral and Pine Island that encompassed the bridge, has been devastated.  However, the ability to drive into (and out of) Pine Island is a major cause for celebration amid the blue-collar working-class community.

Pine Islanders are known for their grit and independence.  The devastation on the island is large from Saint James City (south) all the way to Bokeelia (north), but these are hardworking and industrious people. They will rebuild and restore their community street by street, and the bridge will speed up that process.  An exceptional outcome in only a week.  Many joyful tears flowing.

Above picture, Today – Below picture, last Thursday

The result is stunning, but, well, then again…. that git r’ done sensibility is locally known to live on Pine Island.  Honc Marine is also a local company that knows how to git sh*t done.  Put those two elements together, get the hell out of the way… and well, that’s the result.  There ain’t no gender confusion, wokeness or cufflinks in this tribe.

….Additionally, Governor DeSantis announced yesterday that the contract to begin repairs to the Sanibel Causeway was awarded. Equipment was mobilized last night, and there is already a team on the ground to begin repairs. The repairs to the Sanibel Causeway are expected to be completed by the end of the month. (link)

Jumpin’ ju-ju bones.  If they can get roadway access to Sanibel completed within a month… that’s beyond awesome.

From the Governor’s Office:

There are currently 298,820 reported power outages. They have already restored power nearly 2.4 million accounts across the state, representing 88.92% of accounts restored since the peak. There are currently 11 fueling depot stations open statewide, and a mobile fuel truck has been deployed to Arcadia to support residents without access to fuel.

Additional programs that have been put into place to aid communities include the activation of the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, the initiation of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Operation Blue Roof, and FDOT’s diligent work to construct temporary bridges into areas that are cut off from motorists.

First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that the Florida Disaster Fund has raised nearly $35 million since activation. To read more info, click here. To contribute, please visit www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or text DISASTER to 20222. Additionally, the First Lady has worked with the State Disaster Recovery Mental Health Coordinator Sara Newhouse to compile a webpage of resources to help first responders navigate resources for mental health needs post hurricane. To visit the site, click here

Mental health resources for individuals and communities are available at MyFLFamilies.com/HurricaneIan. Floridians’ health and well-being are a top priority, and the Department of Children and Families is reminding individuals that they are not alone. All Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian can find someone to talk to today through the Disaster Distress Helpline by calling 800-985-5990.

Safe and found persons can be reported safe at http://safe.fl.gov.

State response efforts include:

Search and Rescue

  • There have been 2,500 rescues made to date.
  • There are more than 1,000 team members performing search and rescue.
  • DCF has created a First Responder Support Line: 407-823-1657 – that all first responders throughout the impacted areas can contact. This line combines current resources into a single point of contact that will connect first responders with mental health professionals.
  • Florida National Guard engineering resources were deployed to assist with route clearance in Pinellas and Lee Counties.
  • The Missouri Task Force 1 Disaster Situational Assessment and Reconnaissance (DSAR) Team is deploying to Florida through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact to support urban search and rescue efforts and incident assessment.
  • A Florida Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Team deployed to Central Florida to support state USAR Task Forces and incident assessment.
  • Following Governor DeSantis’ authorization, Joint Task Force Florida has 5,050 personnel activated and is executing missions in response to Hurricane Ian. The Florida National Guard has supported a total of 247 missions.
  • 27 POD sites operating and distributing food, water, and ice to local populations:
    • 2,728 pallets of water distributed
    • 2,331 pallets of food distributed
    • 606 pallets of ice distributed
    • 385 pallets of tarps distributed
  • FDEM is working with feeding partners to open kitchens for impacted and displaced residents. More than 410,800 were served on Tuesday, October 4, and more than 936,100 hot meals have been served since volunteer kitchens opened.
  • FDEM is coordinating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct infrastructure assessments of water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants, and assisted living facilities.
  • Through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), more than 1,800 personnel from 26 states have deployed to Florida to assist in response and recovery efforts.
  • FDEM has activated the State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) to provide an additional resource for Floridians to receive up-to-date information regarding Hurricane Ian. Residents and visitors can call this toll-free hotline at 1-800-342-3557.
  • FDEM Recovery staff are conducting rapid damage assessments in Charlotte, Flagler, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Putnam and Osceola counties to expedite available federal assistance for disaster recovery.
  • FDEM has eight active fuel depots throughout Central and Southwest Florida to ensure first responders have the fuel they need to conduct search and rescue operations. An additional two public, mobile fuel depots are open in Arcadia and the Dunbar community to provide fuel for vehicles and gas cans for generators to impacted residents.
  • FDEM is leading the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) for the Hurricane Ian response, with more than 350 SERT members staffing the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).
  • FDEM has received more than 4,500 resource requests for Hurricane Ian and fulfilled. Over 3,700 of these requests are currently being processed and are either en route or being mobilized. This includes the coordination of resources such as: trucks of food and water, generators and tarps.
  • FDEM is mobilizing pet food and supplies for displaced pets, including: rabies vaccines, dry and canned dog food, dry and canned cat food, cat litter, disposable pet bowls and disposable leashes.
  • FDEM is deploying the following resources for distribution to impacted areas:
    • Coordinating to set up 4 barges to aid in the delivery of commodities in Lee County to Pine Island and Sanibel Island.
    • Trailers for restrooms, showers, laundry, sleeping and sanitation to ensure the care of first responders in the field.
    • More than 4,000 gallons of diesel to Lee County to power water plants that provide water to nearby hospitals.
    • Drone teams to assess flooded areas.
    • 500 traffic barrels to Charlotte County to safely modify traffic patterns.
    • More than 400 bottles of oxygen to Charlotte County.
    • 255 ambulances
    • 200 trucks of food, water and ice
    • More than 500 generators for traffic signals and other traffic needs
    • 2 full service mechanical shops
    • 500,000 tarps
    • 375 kits for parents of infants and toddlers with critical supplies that will last for 10 days each
    • Four mobile triage units to Miami-Dade County
    • Five truckloads of blankets and five truckloads of cots to support displaced residents
    • Coordinating the provision of meals for first responders staged in Orange County
  • FDEM is in constant communication with all 67 county emergency management offices and state agencies to coordinate recovery actions and needed resources as communities experience storm impacts.

Power

  • There are currently 298,820 people without power.
  • Nearly 2.4 million accounts have already been restored across Florida.
  • For a full report on current outages, click here.
  • 42,000 linemen from utilities across the state are working 24/7 to restore power.
  • 325 Florida Highway Patrol are transporting utility crews.
  • 560 health care facilities have had power restored since the onset of the event.
  • MORE

Lastly, on a personal note…  I also have some good news.  Jesus put a roof over my head today.

Literally, at my house today the crew leader for the roof repair team was a guy named Jesus.

How could I not forgive Jesus for poking fun at my carpentry (plywood cutting) and roof patching skills.

Jesus the roofer and carpenter.  Big smile too.

Yeah, subtle as a brick through a window….  God is good and filled with humor.

Love to all,

~ Sundance

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