2012 Hurricane Season
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Four area Red Cross volunteers sent to help storm victims
Four local volunteers, two from Collier County and two from Lee County, were en route to New Jersey on Tuesday to take part in the relief effort.
The volunteers, who are certified Red Cross volunteers, have been trained to work with the public and offer mass care at shelters, said Colin Downey, communications director for the Florida Southern Gulf Region Red Cross office.
Downey said the four volunteers will be in New Jersey for two to three weeks.
The American Red Cross opened 250 shelters across nine states this week for 11,000 people taking cover from Sandy, according to local officials.
The number of volunteers dispatched to the northeastern United States increased to more than 1,700 Tuesday as the relief effort launched into full swing.
"We are raising money and asking for the public's assistance," Downey said. "It's a very expensive relief operation."
Donations can be made online to RedCross.org, by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or by texting RedCross to 90999 for an automatic $10 donation.
_ Kristine Gill
Dozens of flights between East Coast and RSW canceled
Nearly a third of the flights were canceled at Southwest Florida International Airport for a second day in a row on Tuesday, due to Hurricane Sandy.
On Tuesday, airlines grounded 57 flights in and out of the Fort Myers airport. That was out of a total of 153 flights scheduled for the day.
The canceled flights were into and out of the Boston, Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., area airports. That included flights between Fort Myers and LaGuardia, John. F. Kennedy, White Plains, Newark, Atlantic City and Baltimore.
Travelers should go to the airlines' websites for the most up-to-date information, said Vicki Moreland, a spokeswoman for the Fort Myers airport.
_ Laura Layden
Florida Power & Light Co. convoy goes to assist
Florida Power & Light has deployed a total of 865 workers, including FPL employees and contractors, to aid the Sandy-stricken area.
Dave McDermitt, FPL spokesman, said about 40 employees, restoration specialists from Bradenton to Naples, are either in that area already or en route to it.
"We have been sending a steady stream of convoys to the Northeast," he said. "We are doing all we can to help."
He said crews are expected to work 16-hour days, seven days a week, until the work is done.
Crews are helping in seven states from Virginia to New Jersey.
_ Tracy X. Miguel
Red tide testing suspended
Rough surf at Collier County beaches this week prompted water quality monitors to postpone the next round of testing for red tide until the waters calm.
Water samples were to be collected Monday, but testers say they won't be able to get good samples until Thursday. Results could be ready Friday.
Red tide, which has been lingering offshore and along the beaches for weeks, is a bloom of microscopic algae that releases a toxin that can kill marine life and cause respiratory irritation in humans.
The county's pollution monitors haven't received reports of dead fish at the beach since Thursday nor reports of respiratory irritation since Oct. 21.
_ Eric Staats
Workers relocated from New Jersey to Estero
The Philadelphia Business Journal reported that five employees at eMaint Enterprises LLC "got a trip to the Sunshine State courtesy of Hurricane Sandy."
According to the story, the information-technology company moved workers from its headquarters in Mount Laurel, N.J., to a satellite office in Estero ahead of the superstorm.
"We flew them down Friday and Saturday so they could service our clients in the event we have folks up here who can't get to the office," Jon Hollander, eMaint's executive vice president of operations, told the newspaper.
Among eMaint's customers are manufacturers, which use the company's web-based software to manage their machines. The company, with 35 employees, bases its international operations in Estero.
_ Laura Layden