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Hurricane Irma is making her way toward the Bahamas and then will move on to southern Florida this weekend, making landfall as a Category 4 storm. If Irma continues on her latest projected path, she will bring very strong winds and several inches of heavy rain to Collier County. Her exact track will become more clear in the coming 24 to 48 hours. At that time, however, it will most likely be too late for residents to evacuate, so it’s very important to make sure that you are prepared for this storm and that you have an emergency plan in place.
On Thursday, September 7, a Hurricane Watch was issued for Collier. The county has issued mandatory evacuations for Goodland, Everglades City, and Chokoloskee, which will go into effect at 1 p.m. Eastern on Friday, September 8. There isn’t a mandatory evacuation in Naples at this time.
“Even if the storm continues to track east, water surges and floods are expected to damage Collier County, with Chokoloskee and Everglades City bearing the brunt of it. Storm surges in the Chokoloskee area could reach as high as 20 feet, Summers said. Everglades City, which has a sewage plant that has suffered with mechanical and maintenance problems for years, has no working generator for the plant,” reports the Naples Daily News.
Below is an evacuation map for Collier County, made available by the official Collier County website.
The following shelters have been set up for residents.
- -Immokalee High School, 701 Immokalee Drive
- -Immokalee Middle School 401 N. 9th St. (pet friendly)
- -Cypress Palm Middle School, 4255 18th Ave. NE (pet friendly)
- -North Collier Regional Park, 15000 Livingston Road, (only pre-registered pets allowed)
- -Gulf Coast High School, 7878 Shark Way
- -Oak Ridge Middle School, 14975 Collier Blvd.
- -Lely High School, 1 Lely High School Blvd.
- In addition, there has been a shelter set up at Palmetto Ridge High School, 1655 Victory Lane, that is for special needs residents, such as anyone who is “electrically dependent or bed ridden pre-registered clients who require nursing care,” according to Naples News.