October post-Hurricane Ian meeting notes

Weds 10-05-22

• The Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Department is taking 911 calls. Chief Mickuleit says, “We are here for the community. We will do anything we can to help.”
• Millennial Medical has opened a field hospital behind the 711 on Nikkis Lane.
• The Cajun Navy has been on the island, rescuing and evacuating people.

• Currently there are seven food stations that we know about: Fire Station #1 (at the Center of Pine Island), Island Tactical (gun shop at Center), American Legion, Lavender’s Landing on Barrancas, Bob and Annie’s (St. James), the Monroe Canal Marina, and the small strip mall on Raymary St. in Bokeelia.
• Island Tactical has canned goods, diapers, clothes, gasoline, flashlights, and hot food from 12 to 5. Much of it is free.
• Water is available on the island between 2 and 5pm. There is not much pressure, and, most importantly, it is not drinkable. BOIL YOUR WATER!
• Mikes Maillakakis with Pine Island Water Association reports that showers are set up at RO Plant 9550 Stringfellow for use between 11 and 4pm.

• A temporary bridge and road are being constructed by FDOT/Lee County in Matlacha. Work should be done by the weekend (10-8) The construction company had to be vetted by FEMA to do repairs. (Ruane) UPDATE: It’s DONE! But infrastructure vehicles will be the first to cross.
• Stringfellow Rd is already clear in both directions (Mickuleit)
• As soon as the temporary bridge is open, Lee County will begin to assess infrastructure needs: road clearance, power, water.
• Island Bikeworks (10731 Stringfellow, Bokeelia) is fixing flats for free. They will also offer their regular services without charging for labor, just parts. They hope to open on Thursday Oct. 6 from 10am-2pm.
• There is a ferry from D&D Marina until the bridge is clear.
• When driving onto the island, bring proof of residency or of your relatives’ residency. Bills, ID, anything with the name and address of the owner/occupant should work. Outsiders are being turned away by the Lee County Sheriffs to prevent gawkers and looters while the island is still unsafe.
• We will post the date when residents can drive onto the island on our website gpica.org

• No one has been or will be forced to evacuate the island (Ruane)
• Matlacha/Pine Island Fire District and the US Coast Guard have been evacuating people who want to leave. According to Fire Chief Ben Mickuleit, islanders can come to Station 1 on PI Road between 9am and 5pm. They will be bussed to the Yucatan restaurant, then taken on fire boats to D&D Marina, where buses are waiting to take them to a shelter or be picked up by friends. They can bring one piece of luggage only. Dogs, cats and birds are allowed.

• There are 7398 customers on Pine Island, all without power. Additional teams are coming from 10 states as well as other locations in Florida to help with electrical needs in our area. (Lee County Electric Cooperative website)
• After the temporary bridge/road has been constructed to give access to the island, the roads will be cleared and the electrical grid and powerline damage will be assessed. We don’t yet know if the entire grid will have to be rebuilt. (Commissioner Ruane’s office)

• Contact Jennifer at Island Tactical admin@blackdiamondfla.com
• Ronnie Larsen (tarps) 816 286 8479 (text him)
• Also see Operation Blue Roof, below.

• Williamson Bros Marine will be delivering 1000 gallons of gas each day to residents at cost. Time: 8AM “until it runs out.” Place: Harbor Hideaway Lee County Parks Boat Ramp, 7290 Barrancas, Bokeelia. Cash or check only.
• Joanna with the Matlacha Hookers said they have purchased some of the gas so people without means can have it for free

• Hotspots on Pine Island can be found at the following locations:
Ragged Ass; Matlacha Bridge; new Publix parking lot

• Governor DeSantis has partnered with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to bring internet connectivity to Lee, DeSoto, Charlotte, Collier and Hardee counties. Each device has a 13 mile radius and can serve 1000 customers at a time. DeSantis says he has brought 275 Starlink Satellite devices.

• Some residents say that if you have Xfinity or Century Link, call them and tell them you will cancel your service because of the hurricane, and they will offer to not charge you for a few months. Otherwise, they may continue to bill you even if you have no power. Try dialing 800 COMCAST or 855 870 1311 UPDATE: DeSantis said at a press conference on Tuesday that COMCAST is suspending billing for now.

• Here is an awesome interactive map that is updated frequently. You can find any address in Lee County. Houses are color coded according to the degree of damage.
• You can also take a look at your house on the NOAA website. www.noaa.gov
• The Lee County Sheriffs office will probably be the repository for missing vessels. Call them to report your boat missing. Look on satellite photos, try to recognize your boat; ask your neighbors. It’s probably not far away.

• It is essential to get in touch with your insurance company right away and open a blanket claim. After that, call FEMA. If you have “loss of use” as part of your insurance policy, your hotel or rental apartment during your evacuation may be covered by your insurance.

• Rep. Adam Botana has been contacted about the garbage situation and will look into it.
• From Ruane’s office (10/4): Once the temporary bridge/road is open to the island, the County’s first priority will be infrastructure: making sure roads are clear, assessing the power lines and grid, getting water and power up and working. Only after these essential first steps have been taken will garbage collection be resumed.
• Until collection resumes, try to find large dumpsters in your neighborhood to avoid vermin and other wildlife munching on and scattering contents of your garbage bags and other household containers.
• In gated communities with private streets, Lee County requires a “right of entry” form to do hurricane debris removal. Contact your homeowners association to make sure they know about it.

• Helping Paws is putting together a plan to get their rescue cats off the island. If you can foster a cat, please call 239-283-9100 or email admin@helpingpawsanimalsanctuary.com
• A veterinarian is available at the fire station #1
• Lots of dog food and cat litter is available at Island Tactical, all free.

• The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been tasked by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist eligible homeowners with temporary roof repairs. The Operation Blue Roof program will provide a temporary blue covering with fiber-reinforced sheeting to help reduce further damage to property until permanent repairs can be made.

Operation Blue Roof is a free service to homeowners. The counties that have been identified are Charlotte and Lee. The initial sign up period is set for 21 days and will end on Oct. 23.

Residents impacted by Hurricane Ian can sign up at Blueroof.us.
Operation Blue Roof is a priority mission managed by the U.S. Army Corps Engineers. It protects property, reduces temporary housing costs, and allows residents to remain in their homes while recovering from the storm. This program is for primary residences or a permanently occupied rental property with less than 50 percent structural damage. Vacation rental properties are not eligible for this program.
After the blue roof is installed, the structure is declared habitable. Not all roof types qualify for the program. Roofs that are flat or made of metal or clay, slate, or asbestos tile do not qualify. All storm debris must be removed for the roof to qualify.
Residents can also call toll free 1-888-ROOF-BLU (1-888-766-3258) for more information.

• Williamson Bros Marine is delivering supplies to Pine Island at Harbor Hideaway Lee County Parks Boat Ramp in Bokeelia. They are seeking donations of cases of water, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, ibuprofen, towels, generators, gasoline, 4-cycle oil, extension cords, tarps and “anything else you could imagine you would need in their situation” at the WB office: 2944 South St., Fort Myers between 6am and 4pm. For more information call the office at 844-WB-BUILT
• A GoFundMe site called “Emergency Supplies for Pine Island Hurricane Ian” has raised nearly $64,000 by this afternoon (10/4) for the Matlacha Hookers. Their goal is $100,000
• The Tampa Bay Times reports that www.ianresponse.org accepts monetary donations.

— Respectfully submitted by Helen Fox

— Approved at the general membership meeting Dec. 6, 2022

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