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Post-Irma: Neighbor helping neighbor

September 20, 2017
North Fort Myers Neighbor

Irma's impact on our community was less than expected - thank God - but North Fort Myers did not escape unscathed.

While private damage was mostly limited to an overwhelming number of fallen trees, branches and signs, many of our neighbors did lose screen panels and siding as well incur harm to roofs, fences and the like.

Other suffered water damage as storm water and rain crept into homes.

On the infrastructure side, things were worse.

More than 43,500 North Fort Myers residents and businesses were among the 217,800 left without power in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Thanks to the more than 500 contractors LCEC has pulled from around the country, restoration efforts are progressing quickly but more than 2,800 of our neighbors in the in North Fort Myers were among the 14 percent of co-op customers still without power at press time Monday.

Still it could have been much worse - much worse. We could have been Marco Island had Irma not jogged east and made landfall as a category 4 storm further south than projected.

As it was, North Fort Myers felt the effects of category 2 strength winds and virtually no storm surge, meaning significantly less flood damage thant there could have been.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the storm, local businesses, residents and other volunteers aplenty joined the restoration army led by LCEC, first responders, and public employees by the thousands from city, county, state and federal agencies.

National Guard soldiers and airmen staged at the Lee Civic Center where they disbursed to distribute food and water across the county, volunteers across the spectrum offered free food to those in need of a hot meal, neighbors lent generators and offered a place to weather the outages or sleep in comfort and businesses opened their doors to provide essentials.

Many, many individuals, including the Lee County Sheriff's Office deputies, North Fort Myers and Bayshore fire and other personnel as well as health care professionals, linemen, and shelter workers and volunteers worked round the clock although they, too, had family who needed them, homes to protect or clean up.

It is in times like this that we can appreciate the strength of the institutions and people who make North Fort Myers a good place to live, bring up a family and operate a business.

In times of crisis, it's neighbor helping neighbor.

Thank you to those who stepped up.

Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

- Neighbor editorial



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