While there is no date announced for when Fort Myers Beach residents can return to their homes, Fire Chief Ron Martin has issued guidelines for when you can return. Here’s the full statement from Martin…
At this time, Matanzas Pass Bridge and Big Carlos Pass Bridge remain closed to all traffic except emergency crews at least through Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022.
“We understand not being able to start your own recovery has been frustrating, but we appreciate the cooperation and patience you’ve shown while efforts to locate our friends and neighbors continue,” said Fire Chief Ron Martin.
First, be prepared for a challenging infrastructure environment—there will be no power to energize equipment and there will be no running water for drinking, cleaning, bathing, or utilizing toilets. To prepare for these conditions, you should consider bringing a portable generator, fuel for that generator, and a carbon monoxide detector as well as bottled water or other hydration source and a larger water source for clean-up activities. Please avoid contact with flood waters, rivers, or gulf/bay waters to prevent exposure to unknown physical, chemical, biological, and/or bacterial pollution in the waterways.
When it comes to clean-up activities, a lot of structures may be unsafe for entry; please prepare to be unable to physically enter your home for your own safety. For structures that are safe for entry, prepare to bring a host of supplies to assist with the start of your recovery.
Those supplies should include:
• Large plastic bins for salvaging items
• Tarps for repairs
• Tents for shade
• Gloves (latex and work), safety glasses, and N-95 masks
• Paper towels, towels, household cleaners like bleach, disinfectant solutions, dish soap, and laundry
• Brooms, mops, buckets, sponges, scouring pads, scrub brushes
• Large tools like an ax, chainsaw, hacksaw
• Small tools like hammers, crowbars, pliers, screwdrivers, and wrenches
• Shovels, wheel barrels, dollies
• Heavy-duty trash bags
Make sure to bring a First-Aid kit, sunscreen, bug spray, and any expected food items or snacks to remain healthy.
Lastly, when a re-entry timeline is finalized, the process will involve an ease of access plan including identified entry and exit roads that are least hazardous to vehicles and provide for maximum flow in and out of The Beach. We will also provide ample daylight hours for everyone to get as much done as they’d like to each day. The process will also involve a strict security protocol that will include proof of residency and a limitation
on the number of individuals and vehicles per address allowed in at any given time. Once this process is confirmed, we will share it with residents with ample time to prepare.
Be aware that many roadways are still damaged, unidentifiable, covered in sand, and/or covered in debris including sharp objects and nails. Be prepared to make tire repairs either with a repair kit and/or materials as well as spare tires.
“Know that we want to see you back home as much as you want to be back home,” said Chief Martin, “We just have to make sure your time on the island is safe and orderly and that you are prepared to make the most of that time when it’s determined.”