Hurricane Irma is well past Lee County and the residents of Lee County are cleaning up their properties from the extensive landscape damage that was done by the storm. It will take several months to get the cleanup completed if not longer. The government agencies, landscape crews, and tree companies are all working almost 24-7 to get this job done.
Following the storm many of us reflect on events that led up to the storm.
9/4/17 – Monday Labor Day – Weather reports Hurricane Irma is headed to SW Florida and requests residents to start preparing.
9/5/17 – Tuesday – The projected cone indicates the entire state is in the cone. Weather reports continued track toward SW Florida, Collier and Lee counties on hurricane watch.
9/6/17 – Wednesday – Weather reports now project a westward movement toward SW Florida, several mandatory evacuations for Marco Island and parts of Collier County. Many businesses close to allow staff to prepare for the storm.
9/7/17 – Thursday – Weather reports Hurricane Irma cone of projected path has been narrowed to SW Florida and news is urging people to leave. Most businesses and banks are closed. Residents of both Collier and Lee County are evacuating via I-75.
9/8/17 – Friday – Weather reports Hurricane Irma making a shift toward Collier and Lee Counties with a direct hit predicted close to the Naples area including the potential of a significant storm surge. More areas in Collier and Lee County have mandatory evacuations. There is a massive exodus of people leaving the state. I-75 was bumper to bumper and it is difficult to obtain fuel and water.
9/9/17 – Saturday – Weather reports continue to advise a direct hit on Collier and Lee County and advise residents to relocate if home is in a storm surge area or to go to emergency shelters, if they have not done so it may be too late. Emergency storm shelters are proving safety to approximately 32,000 residents.
9/10/17 – Sunday – Hurricane Irma makes landfall on Marco Island as a category 4 storm at approximately 3PM. Massive wind and rain. The storm lasted approx. 2 hours. Approx. 6:30 PM – The sun comes out and people leave their homes to assess the damage. Most people have no power, and many have no running water. Several areas of Lehigh Acres and Buckingham had over 4-5 feet of water.
9/11/17 – Monday – Most businesses and all banks and schools are closed. For the most part residents stay in their homes and in their yards cleaning up due to downed power lines and traffic signals are not operational on the streets.
9/12/17 – Tuesday – Some stores start to open, even if only for a few hours so residents can get some supplies (if available). There is widespread landscape damage to Lee and Collier County. Fuel for automobiles is a major problem due to lack of supply.
9/13/17 – Wednesday – Some more businesses open, including restaurants if power has been restored. Most offices have no internet or power. Malt Realty Property managers mobilize to assess damage to investors properties.
9/14/17 – Thursday – Most business are open, if only for part of the day.
What many of you do not know is the residents and tenants experienced:
Fire trucks going up streets announcing for them to evacuate their home immediately.
Packing, moving, camping, dealing with no electricity while the temps outside soar to the mid 90’s. Many lost income also. Most of us lost food in the refrigerator.
Malt Realty staff was back in full force walking properties Thursday 9/14/17. Our office contacted each and every tenant and each and every owner as quickly as we possibly could. Our office did not have internet or telephones so we made due with our cell phones! Many tenants had evacuated the area so it was difficult reaching them. Once our office could assess the damages we contacted the owners to advise if any damages.
We are still writing work orders for damaged screens, roof leak repairs, fences down, broken windows.
Malt Realty attempted to keep in contact with owners and tenants prior to and after the storm.