Hurricane Irma: Landfall on Marco devastates the island, rescues underway

Hurricane Irma made landfall on Marco Island shortly after 3:30 p.m. Sunday with recorded winds of 130 mph and storm surges that caused extensive damage.

"We do not know the extent of physical damage, but it appears large, especially on the south end of the island," Marco Island City Council Chairman Larry Honig said. "We have serious flooding, presumably caused by the storm surge, and many streets are covered up to the mailboxes (or) blocked with downed trees and road signs."

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Damage from Hurricane Irma can be seen on Marco Island, Fla. Sunday, September 10, 2017.

Marco Island Police Department Capt. Dave Baer confirmed that there are parts of the island, like Barfield Drive, with 1 to 2 feet of standing water. Baer also said rescue missions are underway.

Honig said the National Guard has been called in to assist. At least seven people have been rescued.

"We are now sending crews out to rescue people who elected not to evacuate. We asked citizens who wanted to stay to let us know their physical addresses, so that we could check on them post storm," Honig said. "Today we rescued many of them. For example, seven persons were rescued from a house on Lamplighter Drive," which is straddled by canals.

Honig said the Police Department obtained a large number of personal watercraft before the storm that have been "invaluable" during the rescue missions; however, he said the department and its assets suffered from the countywide gas shortage. 

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"We were never properly restocked with fuel, which I personally brought up with Gov. Scott, who has been tremendously helpful," Honig said. "I would like to see Marco Island purchase a tanker truck so that our first responders in the future do not have to worry about gasoline."

Honig said he doesn't know when or at what level the storm surge will stop.

Collier County officials said this morning that the city is restricting access until a damage assessment is done. They urged residents to be patient and keep up to date through local news and social media.

Damage from Hurricane Irma can be seen on Marco Island, Fla. Sunday, September 10, 2017.