This is a live news blog with information about the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Naples and Collier County.
Our reporters and photographers are spread out across Southwest Florida covering our communities and providing the latest developments on the recovery.
3:49 p.m. | Lee Health continues evacuations
Lee Health officials said Monday they are still evacuating patients from HealthPark Medical Center and Gulf Coast Medical Center with hopes it can be halted soon.
Roughly 400 patients have been transferred to other hospitals and all 149 children at Golisano Children’s Hospital were evacuated.
More: 'We're not going to stop:' Ian's destruction of Pine Island brings out the best in residents
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Of that total, 67 are premature babies, according to Dr. Larry Antonucci, president and chief executive officer.
Since that first evacuation, another half a dozen premature babies were delivered, he said.
The hospital evacuations became necessary because of water pressure problems at the two campuses which have since been resolved.
3:01 p.m. |State: Stay away from water, submerged powerlines
State officials are telling the public to stay away from water and submerged powerlines and other equipment.
“The public utilities and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection are currently performing assessments to locate and address any damage or lack of functionality,” said Tammy Soliz, with the Florida Department of Health in Lee County. “Due to the large scale of flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Ian, it is best to treat all flood waters as contaminated which may be health hazards.”
2:27 p.m. | Water and electricity update from state EOC
From the state EOC briefing in Tallahassee today:
Florida officials said they hope to have water and electricity restored by Sunday to all the homes, businesses, schools and hospitals in Southwest Florida that are structurally sound enough to receive it.
“We’ve laid out a very good plan,” Florida Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said Monday.
Fewer than 600,000 customers were without power Monday morning, records show. But hard-hit Lee County remained about 60% out.
Schools were reopened Monday in 46 of the 59 Florida counties that had closed them because of Hurricane Ian, with all but counties in Southwest Florida expected to be fully back by the end of the week, said Education Commissioner Manny Diaz.
Lee, DeSoto, Charlotte, Sarasota and Hardee counties have “the most to deal with,” Diaz said. In some cases, local flooding, building damage and a lack of power is keeping students away.
The confirmed death toll from Hurricane Ian was 58 in Florida, based on reports from county medical examiners, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Mark Glass.
The final toll is expected to far exceed that.
“You have drownings, you have some that were unable to get medical services, maybe (died) from a heart attack,” Glass said.
State officials said 20,660 households completed shelter-in-place surveys as the storm approached. Of those, 10,416 have since reported themselves safe, but Jamie Grant, the state’s chief information officer said limited cell phone and internet service is certainly keeping many from reporting.
Officials said they were not expecting the death toll to further mount dramatically.
“We’re somewhat confident we’ve had people check every address,” Guthrie said about ongoing follow-ups to check on the households that were still unresponsive.
1:00 p.m. | Nikki Fried participates in flyover of damaged areas
The destruction on the ground from Hurricane Ian is hard to believe and even harder to see.
We Floridians are resilient. We will build back. Our communities and our businesses will build back. pic.twitter.com/ecfReyLVpp
— Commissioner Nikki Fried (@NikkiFriedFL) October 3, 2022
12:45 p.m. | The latest on Naples restaurants
12:05 p.m. | Imperial River receding
It appears the Imperial River has stopped rising and will hopefully drain soon as the river is within inches of the lowest homes there.
Homes along the Imperial were flooded by storm surge when Hurricane Ian hit.
Days later rain that had fallen over the 60,000 acre Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed to the northeast drained mostly toward Bonita Springs.
“It came up during the storm, then dropped and then ended up going to 12.3 feet,” said Phil Flood, spokesman for the South Florida Water Management District. “And water starts to go into people’s houses at 12.5.”
Flood said the situation would have been even worse has rain continued to fall in the wake of Ian.
“But right now the river looks level,” Flood said. “And we hope it will start to recede.”
Flood said the district is working with the City of Bonita Springs and Lee County to remove debris from the river in order to improve drainage.
11:48 a.m. | FPL paints promising picture for power restoration
Florida Power & Light CEO Eric Silagy offered a promising outlook for customers who remain without power in Lee and Collier counties.
Silagy provided a Monday morning update from the Imperial Club, close to Vedado Way Beach in Naples, nearly 96 hours after Hurricane Ian slammed into Southwest Florida.
FPL has managed to restore power to 1.8 million customers. Approximately 83 percent of the company's customers that were impacted, now have power. There are several hundred thousand people who remain without power, as the one-week mark since Ian made landfall inches closer.
11:18 a.m. |Warning from Dept. of Health
The Florida Department of Health in Lee County is cautioning Southwest Floridians when it comes to coming into contact with potentially contaminated stormwater.
More than a foot of rain fell in some locations of the county, and more than 8 foot of storm surge slammed into some areas.
Sewage systems and pump lifts failed during Hurricane Irma (2017).
“Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium that usually lives in warm, brackish sea water,” a DOH email reads. “These bacteria typically grow faster during warmer months. Sewage spills in coastal waters, like those caused by Hurricane Ian, may increase bacteria levels.
“People with open wounds, cuts, or scratches can be exposed to Vibrio vulnificus through direct contact with sea water or brackish water,” the email continues. “Vibrio vulnificus has the potential to cause severe illness or death.”
DOH recommends that people try not to come into contact stormwater and brackish water.
If you do, immediately clean and monitor wounds and cuts. Seek medical attention if the wound develops redness or if there other signs of infection.
11:15 a.m. | Paradise Coast Sports Complex re-opening
Paradise Coast Sports Complex re-opened to public use Monday morning, after being closed for six days due to Hurricane Ian.
PCSC remains a staging site for CCSO and FEMA at PCSC Stadium and the South Parking area, but all other facets of the complex are available for use by its partners and guests.
“We are cognizant of the efforts of Collier County residents and our guests to get back to a sense of normalcy,” said PCSC General Manager Adrian Moses. “We are pleased to be offer the facility back to our residents and guests.”
The Factory, Collier County’s hottest outdoor workout facility, will re-open to its daily, monthly and yearly members Tuesday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. The Cove Beer & Wine Bar opened over the weekend and remains open every day — with charging stations and free WiFi for guests.
10:52 a.m. | Collier County sheriff: Curbside picking is NOT looting, but stealing IS a crime!
FROM COLLIER COUNTY SHERIFF FACEBOOK PAGE
Curbside picking through debris and discarded household items in the right of way is NOT considered looting or theft by law.
We know that there is deep emotional pain in having to throw away personal items that have been ruined by the storm. And it feels like a violation when strangers are going through those things out in the street. It really hurts and can trigger anger, but it’s not unlawful and you should not react with violence or aggression.
If someone is coming into your house or building or open garage to do that without your permission, it is illegal and you should call or text 9-1-1 immediately. If you see this happening at your neighbors, call!
For curbside pickers in the right of way: be respectful and be careful. And if items are being discarded, they probably have been exposed to sewage, mold has already started growing and may be full of nasty bacteria from the surge waters.
Don’t let your enthusiasm for “free” stuff lead you beyond the right of way. It’s a crime and it’s Florida. Florida homeowners & tenants have rights. Just saying. Be aware.
Don’t steal other people’s stuff. It’s against the law and will not be tolerated in Collier County.
9:50 a.m. | LCEC's estimated times for power restoration
Following are LCEC estimated times of restoration for most affected areas. The timeframes provided are based on worst-case scenarios, and it is possible power will be restored sooner to the locations able to receive power:
Lee County (excluding Pine Island and Sanibel / Captiva Islands) - estimated to be 95 percent restored by end of day Saturday, October 8.
Pine Island estimated restoration time will be determined once access to the island is established.
Sanibel and Captiva Islands estimated restoration time will be determined once access to the island is established.
Collier County (excluding Marco Island) - estimated to be 95 percent restored by end of day Saturday, October 8.
Marco Island is currently 40 percent restored with specific areas still being assessed for restoration alternatives. It is estimated to be 95 percent restored by end of day Tuesday, October 4.
9:35 a.m. | Here's information about food help in SWFL
9:22 a.m. | 3 places to get food and water in Collier County
Collier has opened three points of distribution for MREs. Water and Ice:
Sugden Regional Park- 4284 Avalon Dr, Naples
Everglades City - 609 Collier Ave./610 Buckner Ave N
State Farmers Market- 424 New Market Rd E, Immokalee
For any questions, call 311 or (239) 252-8999 #CollierCounty
9:11 a.m. | Here is the latest on curfews in Collier County
7:28 a.m. | Sanibel Lighthouse standing, but damaged
It was one of the first of what became a swarm of Hurricane Ian rumors: The Sanibel Lighthouse has toppled.
Turns out, it was a half-truth: The house part is gone, but the light remains. Hurricane Ian barged onto the island a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds and an 8-to-15-foot storm surge Wednesday.
7:11 a.m. | LCEC power restoration update
"LCEC will add additional crews toward efforts to restore electric service in devastated SWFL communities," according to a news release.
"The LCEC plan is to restore members’ power as quickly as possible given the conditions of our service territory. We continue to work closely with Governor DeSantis and appreciate the resources being devoted to this monumental effort."
Current restoration numbers are as follows:
Coverage from Sept. 28-Oct. 2: From rescues to damages, the Naples Daily News is providing in-depth coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Ian
Resources for Naples and Collier County
Cleaning after Hurricane Ian: Health department provides guidance on cleaning
Flooded car?: Here’s what to do (and what NOT to do)
This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: Hurricane Ian in Naples: latest updates on what's happening in Collier