• Hurricane Irma: Flooded streets in Naples
    Hurricane Irma: Flooded streets in Naples
  • Video: Hurricane Irma in Naples
    Video: Hurricane Irma in Naples
  • Hurricane Irma, and its eye, pass over Marco Island
    Hurricane Irma, and its eye, pass over Marco Island
  • Hurricane Irma makes landfall on Marco Island
    Hurricane Irma makes landfall on Marco Island
  • Hurricane Irma: Storm's eye as it passes over Marco Island
    Hurricane Irma: Storm's eye as it passes over Marco Island
  • Hurricane Irma video: Irma approaches Marco Island, Florida
    Hurricane Irma video: Irma approaches Marco Island, Florida
  • Video: View from the Naples Daily News building
    Video: View from the Naples Daily News building
  • Hurricane Irma video: North Naples view on Sept. 10
    Hurricane Irma video: North Naples view on Sept. 10
  • Hurricane Irma: View from Vanderbilt Beach
    Hurricane Irma: View from Vanderbilt Beach
  • Hurricane Irma: Neighborhood off Bonita Beach Road
    Hurricane Irma: Neighborhood off Bonita Beach Road
  • Video: Hurricane Irma update for Sunday morning
    Video: Hurricane Irma update for Sunday morning
  • Video: Hurricane Irma update from Station 72
    Video: Hurricane Irma update from Station 72
  • Hurricane Irma video: View from Immokalee, Florida on Sept 10
    Hurricane Irma video: View from Immokalee, Florida on Sept 10
  • Irma through the door
    Irma through the door
  • Fort Myers runneth over with water and trash before Hurricane Irma
    Fort Myers runneth over with water and trash before Hurricane Irma
  • RAW VIDEO: Cape resident reports 'decent wind, some sideways rain'
    RAW VIDEO: Cape resident reports 'decent wind, some sideways rain'
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Q. If I evacuated or I am in a shelter, when can I go home?

A. Hurricane shelters will release when local emergency operations centers deem storm winds and surge waters have reached a safe level.

Collier County EOC officials estimate the shelters could open Monday afternoon. Bonita Springs Mayor Peter Simmons warns that safety is the top concern and no estimates are set in stone.

“We know everyone’s anxious. We don’t know what the conditions will be,” he said.

“Just because the wind is gone doesn’t mean people will be able to drive,” he said. “Just sit tight.”

Q. If my power goes out, when will it be back on?

A. Florida Power & Light expects power outages to last days, if not weeks. During a press conference livestreamed Sunday morning, officials said crews cannot get out in the storm to restore power. 

Military-like "troops" will deploy between the feeder bands of Hurricane Irma to begin to restore power.

"This will no doubt be one of the most complex restorations," particularly on the west coast, FPL said during the press conference. "Our crews cannot get out and work in this weather. It's too dangerous."

FPL has set up more than 20 staging sites to deploy thousands of employees and contract workers to restore power.

More than 475,000 customers in Collier and Lee counties were without power by 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

More: Hurricane Irma: More than 50,000 without power in Collier, Lee

To report a power outage or to check on the status of an outage, call 800-468-8243, download the FPL app or go to www.fplmaps.com/.

Q. What do I do if my home floods?

A. FEMA and building professionals have recommended steps to take if you find your home inundated with floodwater.

A storm such as Irma can cause structural damage, so check for loose or broken elements such as porch and lanai overhangs. Sagging floors and ceilings can be signs of dangerous weakening.

Contact the utility company if you suspect downed power lines before entering any wet area.

Turn off all power and water sources before entering the home.

Even if the power is off, you should turn off the master switch at the fuse box in case power is restored while you’re inside.

Q. Will I need proof of residency to return to my neighborhood after the storm?

A. Residents of the county must be able to provide proof of residency before they will be let back in to the areas where they live, according to the Collier County Sheriff's Office.

You will need to show a photo identification, such as a driver’s license or employment photo identification, and proof of residency, such as a phone or electric bill, a rental agreement or a copy of your homeowner’s insurance policy.

If safety is a concern due to debris or hazardous substances, check points will be established to determine who can enter certain areas. It is the goal of the Sheriff’s Office and all emergency responders to allow residents and business owners back to their properties as soon as it is safe.

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The scene at Radio Road in Naples shows flooded roads during Hurricane Irma on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. Trish Priller/Naples Daily News

Q. What do I do if I encounter water on the road?

A. Do not drive through it. Roads covered by water can be dangerous and prone to collapse.

The situation is often deadly.

A 2016 report from the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention found that drowning associated with a motor vehicle was the most common cause of death from Hurricane Matthew, despite repeated warnings of dangers. A similar 2003 study found many of the deaths from 1999's Hurricane Floyd came from people who drove through flooded roads. 

Driving through flooded roads can cause motorists to spin out of control, hit trees in the road or get carried off by moving water.

The average car can be swept away by just a foot of moving water. As little as 6 inches of water can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles.

Driving through water can also kill your engine.

If you come upon water in the road, find an alternate route or call for help.

Q. Where will I be able to get water/gas/other supplies?

A. Floridians rushed to get gas and other hurricane supplies before Hurricane Irma’s landfall, causing shortages across the state. Fuel and post-storm supplies are likely to be in high demand, as well, once Irma passes.

Residents can use the GasBuddy app, which tracks gas prices and more, to know where to stop for fuel. Search for gas stations with available fuel by typing in your ZIP code.

"We know fuel is important. And we are absolutely devoting every state resource to addressing this," Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday.

Scott also said he's spoken with all the fuel retailers and oil companies to assist them in getting gas to stations. He said their issues include fuel availability from ports, federal rules and regulations and getting fuel through traffic to gas stations.

As for supplies, it’s still unclear which stores will be open or where supplies may be distributed once the all-clear is given Monday. It will all depend on the storm surge and where roads and bridges are passable.

State and federal agencies have supplies in Orlando ready and waiting to be distributed here if needed, said Dan Summers, director of the Collier County Bureau of Emergency Services.

“We have a fair inventory of bottled water, if that’s an issue,” Summers said.

Emergency workers will help stock and resupply stores in the county when roads are clear.

“We know trucks and trailers will be coming in,” Summers said. “Retail will be a big part of getting our community back together.”

Retail workers are asked to have two forms of ID ready or something with a company letterhead or employee badge that can show sheriff’s deputies that they work for the stores they are trying to reach.

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Q. When will Southwest Florida International Airport reopen?

A. Flights in and out of Southwest Florida International Airport are not expected to begin ramping up before Wednesday at the earliest, spokeswoman Victoria Moreland said Sunday.

Airport staff will do a damage assessment of the facility — including the runway, terminal and parking garage — Monday morning after sustained winds have died down below 40 mph.

Once the assessment is complete, the next step is to get airport, airline, TSA and concessions staff in, which could be difficult if local roads are impassable.

Moreland said anyone who had a scheduled flight in or out of Southwest Florida International Airport should check with their airline immediately to reschedule.

▪ Get complete coverage of Hurricane Irma at naplesnews.com/hurricane

 

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