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HomeNewsFlorida's top emergency official defends Lee County on delayed evacuation before Hurricane...

Florida’s top emergency official defends Lee County on delayed evacuation before Hurricane Ian made landfall

Florida’s prime emergency administrator on Monday defended native response to Hurricane Ian, amid rising criticism of Lee County officers who had been allegedly sluggish to evacuate low-lying communities.

Lee County did not order evacuations till Tuesday, forward of Ian making landfall on Wednesday and devastating Fort Myers and Sanibel Island.

“I consider Lee County and their administration …. made the perfect choice they felt was proper for his or her neighborhood at the moment,” stated Kevin Guthrie, director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Administration. “And I’ll by no means second-guess an area emergency supervisor on their choice.”

Whereas different close by jurisdictions took such motion one or two days sooner than Lee County, Guthrie refused to critique.

“Emergency administration administrators don’t have a crystal ball,” Guthrie stated. “They made the perfect choice on the data that they had on the time.”

A consultant of the Lee County Supervisor’s Workplace couldn’t be instantly reached for touch upon Monday.

Lugo Elieser and his spouse, Mara, who saved a ship docked close by, take a look at the destroyed bridge resulting in Pine Island in Matlacha, Fla., on Sunday. The one bridge to the island is closely broken so it might solely be reached by boat or air. Gerald Herbert / AP

Large swaths of southwest and central Florida had been nonetheless struggling to select up the items and activate lights days after Ian blew by way of their communities final week.

Florida residents, left with out energy within the wake of Hurricane Ian, might be at nighttime for the remainder of the week — in the event that they dodged main storm injury.

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There have been 621,000 houses and companies with out energy on Monday, officers stated. These homes and business buildings the place “infrastructure continues to be standing,” energy ought to be again by Sunday, officers stated.

Authorities additionally requested Floridians to remain house and out of the way in which of rescue and cleanup crews on Monday.

“Should you don’t must be on the roadways, don’t be on the roadways,” stated Col. Gene Spaulding, director of the Florida Freeway Patrol.

Spaulding additionally warned motorist {that a} multitude of roads and bridges are nonetheless not protected for passage.

“We nonetheless have a number of roadways which can be beneath water. Understand that simply because the water recedes, do not essentially imply the roadway is protected to journey on,” he stated.

“There’s excessive chance of washouts beneath the asphalt, beneath the roadways. So please do not attempt to drive round barricades.”

Image: Florida's Southern Gulf Coast Continues Clean Up Efforts In Wake Of Hurricane Ian
Folks take away storm-damaged objects from a house Sunday in Bonita Springs, Fla.Sean Rayford / Getty Photos

Remnants of the one-time Class 4 storm continued to douse the mid-Atlantic on Monday with rain. About 16 million had been beneath flood alerts in coastal North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.

Excessive winds and rain will proceed in these communities on Monday and Tuesday with as much as 3 inches in coastal areas and as much as an inch in additional inland areas.

Pesky excessive winds had been anticipated to blow by way of Norfolk, Virginia (45 mph), Atlantic Metropolis, New Jersey (34 mph), Washington, D.C., (36 mph), New York (29 mph) and Boston (29 mph) on Monday.

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