Friday, September 29, 2017

Walking Florida - The Tropical Keys

Excerpts from A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich
Well I was finally in the Keys. They were originally inhabited by the Caloosa and Tequesta Indians. The name Key is derived from a Spanish word, cayo. Its definition is “small island.” When the Spaniards first arrived they were naturally looking for gold. There was none of that here. There also was not any drinking water in the Keys. What they did do was to log the very old Mahogany trees. They took some of the Caloosas that they could capture as slaves to do their work for them in Cuba and some of the other islands in the Caribbean that they were settling.

The Keys have a true tropical climate and are similar to the Caribbean. They were built by plants and animals. The Florida Keys are exposed parts of ancient coral reefs. This reef was along the edge of the Florida Straights and according to Wikipedia, “It is the third largest barrier reef system in the world.”…...

An old road paralleled the new highway. It was very possible that this old road was on the original roadbed of the Florida East Coast Railway. I decided that I would hike it as much as I could. As I walked along, sometimes the thick and impenetrable mangroves would hide the busy main road and commercial establishments and block the refreshing ocean breeze. At other times the road ventured near the ocean and the beach, and then the hiking was ideal…..

I noticed that the water was turquoise blue-green. I came to a barricade and had to follow a footpath to the main highway. I found out why: there was a fairly short bridge, but it crossed a waterway. The waterway had shear vertical walls cut down into the coral of the island. The walls looked to be around 15 feet high. I was lucky--just as I got my camera out a motor boat blasted by. It made a good size comparison.

I found out that this waterway is called the “Cut.” Officially it is the Marvin Adams Waterway. It seems that in the early 50’s Mr. Adams was able to purchase 50 acres of land on Key Largo at both the narrowest point on the Key and the middle. Mr. Adams had the idea that they needed a shortcut through the Key which would cut in half the distance and time to go from Black Water Sound (Florida side), to Largo Sound (Atlantic side). He did the cost study and worked on the permits and then was introduced to Matthew “Barney” Waldin. Mr. Waldin was an inventor and builder, and he had patented a machine that could cut deeply into coral rock. This machine had two huge caterpillar diesels. One would move the machine and the other would cut on the side just like a saw.

It took one and one half years to complete the digging and blasting. What “Barney” Waldin did was cut the sides down to where the water line was going to be and then blast out the center. Neither end went out into the Sounds until the entire cut was finished in 1961. He did not charge Marvin Adams for the work. Instead they made an agreement that he would do it for the valuable fill that was removed.

About the Author: After getting out of the Army Bob Kranich backpacked from the Georgia border to Key West in a 40 day adventure walk across Florida. His recently published book A Walk Across Florida is available from his website or Amazon.com

United Way Hurricane Relief

United Way has distributed over $400,000 in supplemental funding from the SWFL Hurricane Relief Fund (in partnership with the SWFL Community Foundation) to the local network of United Way direct assistance agencies.

Cliff Smith, United Way President said, “We want to thank the generous donors and the Southwest Florida Community Foundation for making this fund possible. Our network of United Way Partners are using this funding to supplement the critical services that are being offered to our residents in need in our community.”

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation initiated the fund with the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties to create a giving fund to help in the aftermath of those affected by Hurricane Irma.

100 percent of the funds donated through the Southwest Florida Community Foundation will be used by the United Way to provide emergency funds to directly help people displaced from their homes and those suffering loss due to the hurricane and floods. The United Way works directly with Lee County Emergency Management, and the network of nonprofit organizations in Southwest Florida to ensure our county has a coordinated response.

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties.  Currently, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s regional headquarters are located off College Parkway in South Fort Myers, with satellite offices located on Sanibel Island, in LaBelle (Hendry County) and downtown Fort Myers.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Dale Robert Younkman Dies At 56

Dale Robert Younkman, born November 9, 1960, passed away September 25, 2017.
Born in Clewiston, he was a lifelong resident. He graduated from Clewiston High School where he played football. He attended Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, FL.
He was an experienced welder and worked in the horticulture industry. He was also known for his artistic abilities and love of fishing and outdoors.
He is preceded in death by his father James Garfield Younkman, his mother Elizabeth Jones Hargrave and his brother Alan David Younkman.
He is survived by his brothers Dean Thomas, Bruce Edward Younkman and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He will be dearly missed by family, friends and all who knew him.
A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday October 15, 2017 at First Baptist Church of Clewiston immediately after the Sunday morning service in the fellowship hall. All friends and family are welcome to attend.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

FEMA Disaster Assistance Locations

FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance teams will be available to assist residents in signing up for individual assistance and to answer questions over the next two weeks at the following locations from 10am - 4pm:

• September 29 - Clewiston Library, 120 Osceola, Clewiston FL 33440
• September 28- LaBelle United Way, 133 N. Bridge Street, Labelle, FL 33935
• September 30 - Montura Ranch Estates Clubhouse, 255 N Hacienda St, Clewiston, FL 33440

• October 3, 4, 5 & 7 - Clewiston Walmart, 1005 W Sugarland Hwy, Clewiston, FL 33440
· October 1, 2 & 6 - LaBelle Walmart, 1951 W Hickpochee Ave (Route 80), LaBelle, FL 33935

FEMA has also deployed workers to assess, inspect and report damage in communities throughout the County.

For more information on FEMA assistance, please visit www.disasterassistance.gov or call 800-621-3362.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Gary Lee Crittenden Dies At 84

Gary Lee Crittenden, age 64, of LaBelle, passed away September 19, 2017 in LaBelle.
He was born July 20, 1953 in Kissimmee, FL, to the late Lewis Pyor and the late Lillian Olevia (Long) Crittenden.
He is survived by his son: Bruce Crittenden, daughter: Patricia Crittenden Parson (Josh), two brothers: Phil Crittenden (Marlene) and Clay Crittenden. He was preceded in death by his wife, Cindy Crittenden.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 2:00 pm at LaBelle Rodeo Arena, LaBelle with Pastor Mike MacDowell officiating.
Cremation arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Storm Damage Update - Two Weeks Later

LABELLE, FL. -- Two weeks after Hurricane Irma electric has now been restored for most of the county's homes and businesses and electric may be expected to be restored within 10 days in nearby Lehigh Acres and Immokalee.

The flooding that was becoming a problem as sheet flow from northern counties slowly moved down to the Hendry and Glades county area has now gone away.

Recovery is well underway as large trucks cruise the streets to remove debris piled high at curb sides.

The Salvation Army, American Red Cross and church groups are active handing out food, tarps and water as well as the Army Corps of Engineers providing blue tarp installation on homes with roof damage.

While gas prices are still high it's widely available without lines and most businesses are operating normally throughout the area.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Debris Pickups Begin Friday

Contactors will begin picking up debris in Hendry County tomorrow, September 22, 2017.

Trucks will be running 7 days a week with multiple runs a day until all debris is removed.

Residents are asked to separate debris for more efficient pick up. Construction debris, horticulture and other miscellaneous debris may be picked up at different times.

Water Well Testing Fees Waived

The Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties is now being operated out of the Florida Department of Health in Glades County located at 1021 Health Park Dr. Moore Haven, FL. 33471.

Water samples can be dropped off for testing Monday - Wednesday from 8am – 3:30pm.

If a resident’s private well has been damaged or compromised by Hurricane Irma, the fees will be waived for all Hendry and Glades County private well owners.

Questions can be directed to the Florida Department of Health in Glades County at (863) 946-0707.

No-Cost Blue Roof Sign Up At Walmart

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is available to assist eligible homeowners who sustained roof damage from Hurricane Irma in signing up for Operation Blue Roof at the LaBelle Wal-Mart beginning September 21, 2017 from 8am – 6pm and continuing through next week depending on demand.

Operation Blue Roof provides a temporary covering of blue plastic sheeting (better than the tarps given out at various locations) to help reduce further damage to property until permanent repairs can be made. The blue plastic sheeting is professionally installed using strips of wood that are secured to the roof with nails or screws.

This program is available at no cost to eligible primary homeowners.

Only primary residences with standard shingled roofs are eligible to receive a temporary blue roof. Metal roofs and mobile homes may be repaired as practical on a case-by-case basis. Roofs with greater than 50 percent structural damage are not eligible for this program.

For rental property, legal permission for a blue roof to be installed must be obtained from the property owner. Renters also must get legal permission from their landlord to continue occupying the residence until more permanent repairs are made.

Information about Operation Blue Roof is available on the Jacksonville District website at www.saj.usace.army.mil/BlueRoof, and in English and Spanish at 1-888-ROOF-BLU (1-888-766-3258).

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Donation And Distribution Now On Kennedy Blvd

The Dallas B. Townsend Center will no longer be operating as a supply distribution or donation site in LaBelle after today, September 19, 2017.

All donated items will be moved from the Dallas B. Townsend Center to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Warehouse located at 840 Kennedy Blvd. Labelle, Fl. 33935 (across from the LaBelle Airport).

If you wish to donate items or if you are in need of supplies, please go to the EOC location beginning Wednesday, September 20, 2017.

Items still needed at the donation center include baby items (formula, diapers, wipes, etc.), personal hygiene items and laundry/cleaning supplies.

Chamber Of Commerce Building Damaged

LABELLE, FL. -- The LaBelle Chamber of Commerce will be closed due to damage from last week's hurricane winds and rain.

Diane Fidanza, Executive Director said, "Unfortunately our Chamber has serious damage to the building. We lost half of the roof which allowed water into the rafters which soaked the insulation and ceiling tiles, which collapsed. We are cleaning up and working towards fixing things. However, this will take time. Until further notice the Chamber will be closed. The damage we have is bad, but could have been a lot worse." 

The Chanber  e-mail address is lchamberofcomm@embarqmail.com

Young Pearson Lawn Service - Yard Cleanup

CLEWISTON, FL. - Young Pearson Jr. invites home and lot owners and commercial businesses in Clewiston, Belle Glade, Moore Haven, and LaBelle to call for lawn service and lot clearing in Hendry, Glades, and western Palm Beach county.

Mr. Pearson has years of lawn care and mowing experience in the Lake Okeechobee area and can be reached by mobile phone at (863) 233-9541.

Young Pearson Jr. Lawn Service
Clewiston, Moore Haven, Belle Glade and LaBelle
Licensed Mowing Contractor
416 East Ventura Avenue
Clewiston Fl. 33440
Phone (863) 233-9541

Young Pearson Jr. Lawn Service is a sponsor of Southwest Florida Online

Monday, September 18, 2017

FEMA Teams At Montura

FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance teams have been deployed in Hendry County and will begin working in the communities to help residents sign up for individual assistance.

On Tuesday, September 20, 2017, a FEMA DSA team will be at the Montura Ranch Estates Clubhouse starting at 9am.

Times and locations for DSA teams will be shared with the public as information becomes available.

Residents with the ability to do so can visit disasterassistance.gov or call 800-621- 3362 to sign up for individual assistance.

Editors Note: Bring your home owner's insurance policy with you as FEMA may pay for items you won't be reimbursed for under you policy.

Jo Ann Hause Dies At 84

Jo Ann Hause has gone home to be with Jesus. She was 84 years old, born on July 11, 1933 in Ojus, Florida. She went home Sept. 12, 2017 in Moore Haven Florida. 

She was preceded in death by her mother and father Johnnie and Mildred Ferrell and husband David Hause. She is survived by daughter Susie Hause, daughter and son-in-law's Debbie and Johnny Stewart and Cindy and Luis Aguilar. Grandchildren include Jay Stewart (Kim), Crystal Imsdahl, Rachel Daley (Brett), David Aguilar (Margaret), Michael Aguilar (Jo) and Donna Toms (Trey). Great Grandchildren include Jason Imsdahl, Logan and Dylan Eppers, Jaylynn Stewart, Random, Parker and Oliver Aguilar and Kimi and Tommy Toms, one sister; Ellen Gibson and nieces and nephew Barbara Stinson, Teresa Harvey, John McLucas, Robin Denney and Becky Holoway.

She will be greatly missed by all who knew her. Celebration of her life will be Friday, September 22, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. in the Pavilion at Ortona Cemetery, where Pastor Sherrill Tillery will officiate. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home – Clewiston

Sunday, September 17, 2017

World Class Barbershop Opens


World Class Barbershop
World Class Barbershop Of LaBelle
Hugo Vargas
216 South Main Street
LaBelle, Florida
(863) 674-1775
Regular & Scissor Cuts-Flat Tops-Shaves-Hair Styling 
Tuesday-Friday. 9-5; Saturday 7-2

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Waste Pickups Resume In Hendry-Debris Still Undetermined

Hendry County has resumed regular schedule for curbside waste pickup. All storm debris should be placed in the right of way for pickup. Pickup days and time for debris are still to be determined.

Questions regarding waste pickup can be directed to Hendry County Special Districts at 863-675-5252

Food And Water Distribution Sites Saturday

Hendry County will be distributing water, tarps, ice and MRE’s (meals ready to eat) today at the following locations:

Harlem Civic Center 10:00 am
Hooker’s Point (Shamrock Store) 11:00 am
Monutra Ranch Estate Clubhouse – 1:00 pm
Pioneer Community Center – 2:00 pm

Goodwill Industries will be on site at the Janet B. Taylor Auditorium, 1100 S. Olympia Street in Clewiston, Saturday 9/16/2017 from 9 am until 2 pm for those needing clothing or emergency food stamps FOR THOSE WHO ARE CURRENTLY ENROLLED IN THE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM.

Friday, September 15, 2017

LaBelle Hurricane Video - Recovery




LABELLE, FL. -- Electric is slowly being restored in Hendry County and more businesses are opening up as power is restored. Crews are working the streets to clean up debris, while FPL contractors can be seen with new poles and trucks staging around the area for electric line repair though the neighborhoods.

4,820 on Saturday and 3,140 as of Sunday 9 a.m. FPL customers still had no power out of 9,700 in Hendry County, and in Glades county 1,080 on Saturday and 560 as of Sunday 9 a.m. had no power of 3,400 FPL customers.

It appears that priority infrastructure has electric power restored first including nursing homes, supermarkets, gas stations. Earlier this week, electric was restored quickly to residential communities that had underground utility wires, some as early as Monday night, 30 hours after the power went out.

Open today among other businesses is World Class Barbershop, Advances Auto, Discount Auto, Winn-Dixie, Save A Lot, Dollar General Market, McDonalds, and the Handy gas station on Cowboy Way.

The Caloosa Humane Society is transferring many of it's dogs to Brandenton, Fl, while the cats and kittens have found foster homes with volunteers. 

Electric Power - Phone Recovery Coming Slowly

LABELLE, FL. -- The latest from Florida Power and Light indicates of the total 9,700 customers in County 5,210 are still without power at 9 a.m. Friday morning. In Glades county only 840 customer out of 3,400 are still without electric.

The FCC's daily communications report yesterday indicated 911 service was operating but without automatic location information at Big Cypress Indian Reservation, FL, Cape Coral PD, FL, Collier County EOC, FL, Desoto County Sheriff, FL, Ft. Myers Police Department, FL, Glades County Sheriff, FL, Hardee County Back Up, FL, Hardee County Sheriff, FL, Hendry County Sheriff, FL, Highlands County Sheriff, FL, Lee County Emergency Dispatch Center EOC, FL, Lee County Sheriff, FL, Naples PD, FL, and Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Department, FL.

Cell phone service has been a problem for many as cell sites either had damage or ran out of emergency generator capability.

In Glades county five out of thirty cell phone tower sites were not functioning. In Hendry county 29 out of 46 sites were out. Collier, Hendry, and Monroe were the top three counties in Florida with the most towers out of service, and were the three counties with the most wind from the hurricane northeast eyewall.

Clewiston's radio station is back on the air today after being off for the week. Same with Belle Glade's radio station.




Food, Water Distribution Centers Open

Hendry County will be moving its food and water supply distribution center location in LaBelle from the Household Hazardous Waste Center to the Dallas B. Townsend Center today, Friday, September 15, 2017 for the duration of distribution.

Dallas B. Townsend Center is located at 1085 Pratt Boulevard. LaBelle, Florida 33935. The distribution center will be open from 10am – 5pm.

Additional distribution locations in Hendry County include:

Sugarland Park (Behind Jon Boy Auditorium) – 100 Sugarland Pkwy. Clewiston, Fl. 33440
Felda Community Center – 1100 County Rd. 830 Felda, Fl.
Monutra Ranch Estate Clubhouse – 225 N. Hacienda St. Clewiston, Fl. 33440
Pioneer Community Center – 910 Panama Ave. Pioneer Plantation, Clewiston, Fl. 33440

Goodwill Industries will be on site at the Janet B. Taylor Auditorium, 1100 S. Olympia Street in Clewiston, tomorrow 9/16/2017 from 9 am until 2 pm for those needing clothing or emergency food stamps.

Lunch For Hurricane Victims Saturday

The Hendry County School District will be providing free lunches for families impacted by Hurricane Irma.

Beginning Saturday, September 16, 2017 until Tuesday, September 19, 2017 free lunches will be available at the following locations:

· Clewiston High School from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm

· LaBelle Elementary School from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm

-----

US Sugar will hand out ice, foor and water at Muse Fire Dept today between 9:30-10am.

Points of Distribution areas in Glades County are located at the Muse Fire Department, Palmdale Fire Department, Lakeport Fire Department, Indian Hills fire department, and the Doyle Conner building. Please bring ID. Points of Distribution will be open today from 10am to 3pm or when supplies run out.

Tarps are also being distributed anytime for emergencies at the Glades County Emergency Operations Center.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Curfew Ends In County

Hendry County is no longer enforcing a curfew.

Deputies will continue patrolling the streets. Please use caution if you choose to drive at night as there is still the risk of debris, downed powerlines and traffic light outages.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hendry Declared Major Disaster Site - FEMA Assistance Available

Hendry County has been listed in the amended version of President Trump’s Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Florida.

In the President’s amended Declaration, Hendry was included in the list of counties designated for individual assistance from FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

The Declaration provides Hendry County with funds to help people and communities recover from Hurricane Irma.

For Assistance From FEMA go to: DISASTERASSISTANCE.GOV and enter your address.

Waste Pickups Resume - Food Distribution Centers

Hendry County is establishing a food distribution center at the Household Hazardous Waste Center in LaBelle, located at 1360 Forestry Division Road (turn at EMS station off of Cowboy Way). Other food distribution locations in the County are being developed now and more details will be available shortly.
The Solid Waste transfer stations in LaBelle and Clewiston are now open to the public.

Due to power outages, the LaBelle station is only accepting cash and account customers at this time. Customers in Labelle should understand that their loads will be estimated by the scale attendant and that decision is final. The Clewiston station is accepting credit cards. Residents may take all items needing disposal to these transfer stations.

Curbside pickup for household waste has resumed in the City of LaBelle, Port LaBelle and Fort Denaud. Curbside pickup is for household waste only, not debris. All waste should be properly stored in a trash can.

The City of Clewiston will pick up household waste Wednesday, September 13, 2017 and Thursday, September 14, 2017. Dumpster pickup is today, Wednesday, September 13, 2017. Thursday, September 14, 2017, the regular trash pickup schedule will resume.

Please be mindful that some roads remain impassible and garbage trucks may not be able to pick up all trash on the dates listed above.

The City of Clewiston has lifted their curfew effective immediately on September 13th. Per the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office, the county-wide curfew remains in effect for the City of LaBelle and the unincorporated areas from 7 am until 7 pm daily.

Points of distribution, for food and water, are open for Glades County Residents at the following location and time. Please remember to bring a photo ID.
Palmdale Fire Department, Ortona Fire Department,
Doyle Conner Building, Muse Fire Department,
Lakeport Fire Department, and Buckhead Ridge Fire Department from 10am to 3pm or until supplies runs out. Please use caution, officers are directing traffic.

The following Government Offices will be open during normal operation
hours starting Thursday, 09/14/2017:
Glades County Board of County Commissioners
Glades County Property Appraiser's Office
Glades County Tax Collector's Office
Glades County Supervisor of Elections
County employees that have any questions will need to contact their
immediate supervisor.

MRE’s and water will be available at the John Boy Auditorium in Clewiston and the Montura Fire Station this afternoon, Wednesday, September 13, 2017. Residents need to bring their own containers to fill with water.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

LaBelle Hurricane Video



LABELLE, FL. -- Views of damaged property around LaBelle in Hendry County on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. The electric is out for most of the county's homes and businesses and may be expected to be restored within 10 days. Flooding is becoming a problem as sheet flow from northern counties slowly moves down to the Hendry and Glades county area.

More Hendry Locations Getting Electric, Walmart Open

LABELLE, FL. -- FPL says they should have all electric service connections completed by September 22. In Hendry so far 8,240 7,590  ( 8 a.m. Wed. ) 6,350 ( 6 a.m. Thur. ) customers out of 9,700 still have no electric.

In a quick survey around the area it seems that neighborhoods around Port LaBelle that have underground utility lines now have power, Laurel Oaks, Mira Verde, and the manufactured home neighborhood at Collingswood and Cowboy Way.

Some business in the manufacturing area north of Cowboy near the airport have electric as well.  Most of the locations report electric coming on Monday night about 8:30 after about 30 hours on no electric from Sunday afternoon.

2,420  2,150 (8 a.m. Wed.) 1,620 (6 a.m. Thurs) of Glades county FPL customer are still offline from 3,400 total.

Because of the lack of electricity, there are virtually no business, schools or government offices open. Clewiston's radio station has been dark since the storm as has been many radio and television stations in Fort Myers and Naples.

A mile long line was at the Handy store on Cowboy and Main Street today filling up vehicle with gas. Walmart in LaBelle is open from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. using a generator to power the store. Food is very limited with many shelves completely empty Tuesday afternoon.

Hendry County is in the process of delivering supplies to the most outlying areas of the County that remain without power. Additional supplies will be distributed to these communities as well as other areas throughout the County in the coming days. Hendry County is in the process of delivering supplies to the most outlying areas of the County that remain without power.

Additional supplies will be distributed to these communities as well as other areas throughout the County in the coming days.

Post here if you have electric service in order to give some idea to the readers where it's now on.

SNAP Participants May Buy Hot Foods Thru Sept 30

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today outlined steps the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has taken to help the people of Florida and other states and U.S. territories ravaged by Hurricane Irma, underscoring the Department’s commitment to feeding all those in need in times of disaster.

“USDA stands shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans struggling in the path of devastation created by this historic storm,” Perdue said. “Working with our state and private-sector partners, we are actively taking measures to ensure that people in these areas get the food they need.”

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently approved a temporary waiver and supported other actions that will help households participating in the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Florida, Georgia and the Virgin Islands and the Nutrition Assistance Program in Puerto Rico access food in the wake of Hurricane Irma, including:
  • Allowing SNAP participants in Florida to buy hot foods and hot ready-to-eat foods with their benefits through Sept. 30.
  • Supporting Florida’s plan to issue all September SNAP benefits on Sept. 7 and Georgia’s plan to issue all remaining benefits for September on Sept. 10; both actions will ensure families have access to their monthly benefits sooner during this time of immediate crisis.
  • Supporting Puerto Rico’s action to issue all September Nutrition Assistance Program benefits on Sept. 5, before the storm.
FNS is working closely with the affected states and territories to be ready, if appropriate, to make use of the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) to offer continuing food assistance after commercial channels of food distribution have been restored and families are able to prepare food at home. D-SNAP can be a critical tool in the recovery process, but it is not the first step, Perdue said, noting that FNS offers states a range of assistance from rescue to recovery.

Clewiston Hospital Emergency Room Opens

Clewiston, FL (September 11, 2017) – 10:30 p.m. – Hendry Regional Medical Center (HRMC) will open the Emergency Department and full hospital services beginning at 7:00p.m. Tuesday, September 12, 2017.

The Dr. James D. Forbes Family Care Center in Clewiston will re-open on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. All remaining clinics including the Hendry Regional Convenient Care Center located in LaBelle will remain closed until utilities are restored and staff is available.

Hendry Regional Medical Center continues to work closely with all local, state and federal officials to ensure full services are operational in the near future.

Evacuations Along River From Sheet Flow Flooding

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County EMS along with the Sheriff’s office and other emergency personnel are performing evacuations in the area of County Road 78 north to Whidden Road, and from State Road 29 west to Pollywog Canal due to rising waters.

This flooding is a direct result of sheet flow from Glades County and is NOT a result of the failure of any levee or the Caloosahatchee River overflowing.

All residents are strongly advised to stay in their homes if possible and should not travel roads that might not be safe. Remember, never drive through standing water.

More information will be released as it becomes available.

Midnight Evacuations Due To Flooding

MUSE, FL. -- Due to flooding,  Country Meadows, Crescent Acres, Cornelia Drive, and Pollywog Drive were being evacuated late Monday night. FWC will be assisting with evacuations.

Muse Community Center to take shelter. 3897 Loblolly Bay Road in Muse.

Bring bedding, clean clothes, medication, and non perishable food, can opener,plates, utensils, water, and anyother items you may need.

Evacuation assistance was starting after midnight Tuesday morning.

Monday, September 11, 2017

911 Problems In Hendry County

Hendry County is experiencing technical difficulties with the 9-1- 1 system and all non-emergency phone lines. Continue to try to call 9-1- 1 with any emergency, but we are asking that you also follow up by contacting us through one of the following social media methods:

Facebook at www.facebook.com/HendryCountyEmergencyManagement
Website at www.preparehendry.com

When sending a message, please include the following information:
 Number where you can be contact at (cell phone or landline)
 Address of the emergency
 Type of emergency you have

You can also link to us on social media with the hashtag #HendryIrma
To reach the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office for non-emergency incidents or
reporting, use www.facebook.com/HendrySheriff

Shelter Now At LaBelle Civic Center

(September 11, 2017, 2:00 pm) – LaBelle, Fla. – Hendry County and the American Red Cross will be opening a single consolidated shelter at the LaBelle Civic Center at 481 West Hickpochee AvenueLabelleFL 33935 at 4:00 pm today.
This shelter is intended to be a longer-term solution for residents whose homes sustained damage that will prevent them from moving back home right away. Please try to bring some extra food, blankets, and clothing to last for up to three days if you can.

A reminder that there is a curfew from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. in Hendry County until further notice.

Hendry Offices Closed Until Monday

(September 11, 2017, 8pm) – LaBelle, Fla. – Due to the damage sustained from Hurricane Irma, Hendry County government offices as well as the Courthouse and schools will be closed until Monday, September 18, 2017.

Updates from the County, Court, School Board and Cities will be shared with the public as they continue to evaluate the impact on the area.

Hendry County residents are asked to call 2-1-1 with any questions related to Hurricane Irma recovery.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Report From Florida - Hurricane Irma

LABELLE, FL. -- The center of the storm is 160 miles directly south of me at this moment at 7 a.m. We can't have a 100% surety of what it will do in the coming 18 hours or so as it can "wobble" from side to side and be not totally predictable except for perhaps when it only an hour or two from any particular location which in my case would be about 5 p.m. or so.

Winds are about 20 mph in my area, Expected to raise significantly by this afternoon. I find the best weather radar and winds online are at http://www.intellicast.com/local/wxmap.aspx

The National Hurricane Service makes it's main reports available online at 5 and 11, four times a day so we watch carefully at those times to see the position and forecast track and winds. But, when the electric goes out here later today, I'll have to rely on radio reports. Fortunately, there are many Fort Myers stations broadcasting via radio.

Hurricane Day Florida - September 10, 2017

From Don Browne, editor

The latest Hurricane advisory this morning at 5 a.m. Sunday has my county outside the center but we will still have extensive rain and wind even so. I've decided to stay here as I expected the highest winds to move west of me going more along the west coast of Florida, and Naples and Fort Myers.

I have high impact windows that so should protect against anything hitting them. And most all of my neighbors are still in the area.

The worst immediate problem, besides debris and wind damage that will happen later this afternoon, will be that the electric will certainly be going out today and it will be unpredictable how long it will be out. It could be days or even weeks.

When the electric goes off, the internet connections will be out for wifi. Cell phone towers will be damaged and so cell phones will then be not working, and when their generators run out of fuel, there will be no cell service for days or weeks. Wifi service at local area businesses and government offices will depend on them having electric or generators and cell service which may be unlikely for some time.

Water service may be affected if utility companies can't keep their facilities and pumps working and so many in the area will not have water. It could be days, or weeks to repair those facilities. People with private water wells will not have water when the electric goes off. I have public water, although many in the rural areas have private wells.

I am not in a low lying area, but those who are, will expect flooding as there will be a foot of rain in areas here.

It is expected the highest winds here will be between 7 and 9 p.m. tonight. But there will be lots of rain and wind all day and night until early Monday morning when the storms will have moved further up the west coast of Florida.

I am expecting my electric to go out between 7 and 9 p.m. Sunday night, but may be earlier in the afternoon. So, if you don't see any further updates here on my daily news blog at swflorida.blogspot.com it means the electric has gone down here and I will not be able to communicate with the outside world from LaBelle for some unpredictable amount of days or weeks.

But rest assured, personal injuries to people in the area will be very very unlikely from wind or rain, although there will be lots of cleanup to properties and streets for many days or weeks to come.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Glades County Halts All Services Tonight

The Glades County Public Safety Department made this announcement tonight:

Attention all residents: Beginning midnight tonight, all services including Law Enforcement, Emergency Medical Services & Fire will be discontinued due to Tropical Storm Force winds until possibly mid-afternoon Monday or as soon as the winds decrease under 45 MPH.

Last Resort Shelter In Clewiston

East Hendry County will be opening a refuge of LAST RESORT at the Clewiston High School, located at 1501 S. Francisco Street at 1pm, Saturday September 9, 2017.

The mandatory evacuation zone includes the City of Clewiston, Hookers Point, Harlem,
Flaghole, Montura Ranch Estates and the communities located within the Mid-County
MSBU which includes Ladeca, Pioneer Plantation and Leon-Dennis Subdivision (Al Don
Farming Road).

This shelter is NOT for people from the mandatory evacuation zone who are already in a
shelter. This is a LAST RESORT shelter for those who have not already sought shelter.

If you are already in a shelter, do NOT leave and relocate

This is not an extended stay shelter. The refuge of last resort at Clewiston High School
will open Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 1pm. It will close when the wind speed drops
below 40 mph.

No services will be available at this site as it is only a refuge of LAST RESORT.
If you are already in a shelter, do NOT leave and relocate. THIS COULD PUT MANY
LIVES AT RISK. It is very important that you respect this order as emergency personnel
will not respond once sustained winds hit 35mph.

Tropical storm force winds are expected by this evening at 8pm. Outer bands from the
storm are already moving through the area.

Residents who need to evacuate to shelter are urged to do so IMMEDIATELY.
Again, this is a LAST RESORT shelter for those in the mandatory evacuation zone who
have not yet evacuated.

Pets are allowed in the Clewiston High School Shelter but MUST be crated.

Palm Beach County Under Curfew At 3 p.m. Today

WEST PALM BEACH, FL. -- Without any explanation the Palm Beach County, authorities have issued a curfew warning for the entire county. 

The notice simply says: "A Countywide curfew will go into affect @ 3:00 PM today, Saturday, September 9."

Additional Evacuation Shelter Ready

LaBelle, Fla. – Hendry County has opened Upthegrove Elementary School for additional shelter in LaBelle for residents needing to evacuate to safety from Hurricane Irma beginning at 10am, Saturday, September 9, 2017.

Upthegrove Elementary School is located at 280 Main St. LaBelle, FL 33935.

Due to the mandatory evacuation in the eastern portion of the County, there will be NO shelters open in Clewiston.

Evacuating to a shelter should be a last resort as there is limited space available in the shelters.
Residents needing to evacuate are strongly encouraged to go to Upthegrove Elementary School
due to the high volume of evacuees in other shelters.

Shelters in western Hendry County are:
 Country Oaks Elementary School 2052 NW Eucalyptus Blvd LaBelle, FL
 Labelle High School 4050 E. Cowboy Way LaBelle, FL (FULL)
 Labelle Middle School 8000 E. Cowboy Way LaBelle, FL
 Upthegrove Elementary School – 280 Main St. Labelle, Fl. 33935
 Special Needs Shelter – West Glades School, 2500 S Co Rd 731 SW, LaBelle, FL
33935

As a reminder to the public, the mandatory evacuation zone includes all of the City of
Clewiston, Hookers Point, Harlem, Flaghole, Montura Ranch Estates and the communities located within the Mid-County MSBU which includes Ladeca, Pioneer
Plantation and Leon-Dennis Subdivision (Al Don Farming Road).
All evacuees are encouraged to take all important, personal documents and identification.
The County has set up a hotline for residents to call for information regarding, evacuation,
shelters, transportation and all other related concerns.
 Hendry County hotline number: 863-674- 5410.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Transporte Disponible Sabado Para Evauados

Transporte Disponible Sábado Para Evacuados de la zona este del Condado de Hendry

(September 8, 2017 9pm) – LaBelle, Fla. – Autobuses estarán disponibles en Clewiston para
transportar los evacuados de la zona de evacuación obligatoria en las zonas del este del
condado de Hendry empezando a las diez de la mañana el nueve de septiembre.
El estacionamiento y la recogida de ciudadanos estarán en el área del parque del comercio de
Clewiston a través del departamento de la salud del condado de Hendry en el lado oeste de la
calle de Olympia.
La recogida empieza a las diez de la mañana el sabado y los autobuses estarán disponibles
hasta la 1:30 pm del sábado.
Después de la 1:30 pm los autobuses NO transportarán evacuados, ya que se anticipa que el
tiempo se deteriorará a mediados de la tarde del sábado.
Este transporte es para los evacuados de la zona de evacuación obligatoria que no tienen los
medios disponibles para evacuar por su cuenta.
Se le pide que los residentes que puedan evacuar por su cuenta lo hagan a la mayor brevedad
posible para guardar el transporte disponible para aquellos sin otras opciones de transporte.
Las zonas de evacuación incluyen toda la ciudad de Clewiston, Hookers Point, Harlem,
Flaghole, Montura Ranch Estates y las communidades localizadas en Mid-County MSBU
incluyendo a Ladeca, Pioneer Plantation y Leon-Dennis Subdivision (Al Don Farming Road).
Se les recomienda a los residentes que recojan artículos personales importantes y planeen
evacuar inmediatamente.
El Condado de Hendry ha establecido una línea directa para los residentes con preguntas y
preocupaciones con respecto al huracán Irma.
La línea directa para el condado de Hendry es: 863-674- 5410Transporte Disponible Sábado Para Evacuados de la

zona este del Condado de Hendry

(September 8, 2017 9pm) – LaBelle, Fla. – Autobuses estarán disponibles en Clewiston para
transportar los evacuados de la zona de evacuación obligatoria en las zonas del este del
condado de Hendry empezando a las diez de la mañana el nueve de septiembre.
El estacionamiento y la recogida de ciudadanos estarán en el área del parque del comercio de
Clewiston a través del departamento de la salud del condado de Hendry en el lado oeste de la
calle de Olympia.
La recogida empieza a las diez de la mañana el sabado y los autobuses estarán disponibles
hasta la 1:30 pm del sábado.
Después de la 1:30 pm los autobuses NO transportarán evacuados, ya que se anticipa que el
tiempo se deteriorará a mediados de la tarde del sábado.
Este transporte es para los evacuados de la zona de evacuación obligatoria que no tienen los
medios disponibles para evacuar por su cuenta.
Se le pide que los residentes que puedan evacuar por su cuenta lo hagan a la mayor brevedad
posible para guardar el transporte disponible para aquellos sin otras opciones de transporte.
Las zonas de evacuación incluyen toda la ciudad de Clewiston, Hookers Point, Harlem,
Flaghole, Montura Ranch Estates y las communidades localizadas en Mid-County MSBU
incluyendo a Ladeca, Pioneer Plantation y Leon-Dennis Subdivision (Al Don Farming Road).
Se les recomienda a los residentes que recojan artículos personales importantes y planeen
evacuar inmediatamente.
El Condado de Hendry ha establecido una línea directa para los residentes con preguntas y
preocupaciones con respecto al huracán Irma.
La línea directa para el condado de Hendry es: 863-674- 5410

Last Pickups For Hendry Hurricane Shelter

LaBelle, Fla. – Buses will be available in Clewiston to transport
evacuees from the mandatory evacuation zone in eastern Hendry County beginning at 10am,
Saturday, September 9, 2017.
Parking and citizen pick up will be at the Clewiston commerce park area across from the Hendry
County Health Department on the West side of Olympia Street.
Pick up begins at 10am on Saturday and buses will run regularly until 1:30pm on Saturday.
After 1:30, buses will NOT be transporting evacuees as weather is forecasted to decline in the
mid to late afternoon Saturday.
This transportation is for evacuees in the mandatory evacuation zone who do not have the
means to evacuate on their own.
It is asked that residents who are able to evacuate on their own would do so now and save the
available transportation for those without other transportation options.
The mandatory evacuation zone includes the City of Clewiston, Hookers Point, Harlem,
Flaghole, Montura Ranch Estates and the communities located within the Mid-County MSBU
which includes Ladeca, Pioneer Plantation and Leon-Dennis Subdivision (Al Don Farming
Road).
Residents are strongly urged to gather important personal items and plan to evacuate
immediately.
Hendry County has established a hotline for residents with questions and concerns regarding
Hurricane Irma.
The number for this hotline is: 863-674- 5410

Last Pickup Saturday For Glades Shelter

Buses will be available at Maple Grove Baptist Church in Lakeport 10am
to pick up residents that are planning on going to the General Shelter.
Buses will be available at the Doyle Connor Building at 11am for
anyone else that may be in need of transportation to West Glades
Elementary the general shelter.
THIS IS THE LAST TRANSPORTATION THAT WILL BE
PROVIDED.
Highlands County will host 400 Glades County Residents at South
Florida State College in Avon Park (600 West College Drive, Avon Park
33825). You must provide your own transportation and supplies (food,
bedding, clothing etc.)Shelter will open at 8am tomorrow morning
September 9, 2017.

New Mandatory Evacuations - Glades

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- MANDATORY EVACUATION for Moore Haven, Washington Park, Benbow and Uncle Joe's and Lakeport.

Due to updated information models per Governor Scott All Evacuees are to seek shelter at friends, relatives or shelter.

Anyone needing transportation meet at Doyle Conner Bldg between 2 and 3pm. Note: after 3pm, transportation will no longer available.

Anyone with a POV can drive to West Glades Elementary or another shelter and those addresses will be given soon.

Shelter Locations:
West Glades Elementary, 2586 CR 731, Bldg 500, Muse

Note: Shelteree’s should bring bedding, food & water, medications toiletries. No alcohol or Fire Arms.

Latest On I-75 Traffic Slowdowns

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), working with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), has implemented a limited Emergency Shoulder Use (ESU) plan for Hurricane Irma evacuations on I-75 at Wildwood to the Georgia state line. Motorists should only use the left shoulder when directed by law enforcement and highway signs.

  • There is no contraflow or one-way operation in use on Florida state roadways
  • No other state roadways are currently approved for shoulder use
  • Although there are heavy pockets of evacuation traffic in some areas; traffic is flowing on this section of roadway
  • Law enforcement urges motorists to use caution when driving on the shoulder – right shoulder use is prohibited
  • FDOT has 13 Traffic Management Centers where hundreds of DOT workers are monitoring traffic cameras 24/7 to ensure traffic flows continue and evacuations proceed without interruption.

NOTE: Contraflow blocks essential southbound lanes needed to bring supplies to shelters and families in the southern part of the state. Contraflow also inhibits emergency vehicles from reaching people in need, and removes law enforcement from critical life safety tasks.

Lake Okeechobee Will Overflow Say Army Engineers



CLEWISTON, FL. -- The Army Corps of Engineers said this morning at a Jacksonville press conference that with the forecast amount of rain, that may last for seven hours, over Lake Okeechobee through next Monday there is a possibility that the water will overflow the dike at three culvert construction sites located in Glades, Hendry, and Palm Beach county.

The Corps described the situation as "significant over topping" of the dike a levee that is 143 miles long.

The Corps said inspections of the dike shows no seepage anywhere at this time. The last time the levee was breeched was 1928 when thousand drowned around the lake.

The construction sites are culvert cofferdams that may overflow in three area around the big lake. The Corps does not anticipate a significant breech of the dike itself. Releases of water are intentionally continuing into the Caloosahatchee River to the west and St. Lucie river to the east to lower the water level of the lake.

For the last year and a half to two years the Corps has been raising the height of the dike.

Communities around the lake in the affected areas were this morning subject to mandatory evacuations including the City of Clewiston where one of the cofferdam culvert construction site is located, and the Harney Pond near Lake Port a second, and the third in Pahokee. The overflow will contribute to localized flooding in the immediate area.

18.77' is the overflow height and record water level of the dike around the 2nd largest freshwater lake in the U.S. and it is currently at the 13.7' level. 12.5 to 15.5' is the normal operating range for the water level. One foot of rainfall in general brings the water level in the lake up three feet. 15' inches of rain is expected during the storm.

Additionally, after the storm passes by, there will be eventual water flowing downstream flow from the Kissimmee River basin north of the lake.

Photo: Courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Facebook

I-75 Hurricane Evacuation Routes Clear

LaBelle, Fl. -- Travel lanes on Interstate 75 throughout south west Florida remain open and are flowing, there is no reversing of lanes The northbound lanes are open only to traffic traveling north and the southbound lanes are open only to traffic traveling south.

There are reversal lanes on some portions of North Florida's I-75 with all lanes moving north.

Motorist are encouraged to follow the advice of their local Emergency operation Centers, refer to Florida 511 orwww.fl511.com. and the FHP incident site https://www.flhsmv.gov/fhp/traffic/live_traffic_feed.html

Should a motorist break down, the motorist can contact *FHP which will contact the nearest Florida Highway Patrol Office for assistance.

Emergency Transportation For Hurricane Evacuees

LABELLE, FL. -- Transportation for evacuation of Hendry County residents in the mandatory evacuation zone in western Hendry and Clewiston will be available beginning at 10am, Friday, September 8, 2017.

The mandatory evacuation zone includes the City of Clewiston, Hookers Point, Harlem, Flaghole, Montura Ranch Estates and the communities located within the Mid-County MSBU which includes Ladeca, Pioneer Plantation and Leon-Dennis Subdivision (Al Don Farming Road).

The primary location for parking and citizen pick up will be the Clewiston commerce park area across from the Hendry County Health Department on the West side of Olympia Street.

This transportation is for evacuees in the mandatory evacuation zone who do not have the means to evacuate on their own. It is asked that residents who are able to evacuate on their own would do so now and save the available transportation for those without other transportation options.

Hendry County has established a hotline for residents with questions and concerns regarding Hurricane Irma. The number for this hotline is 863-674- 5410.

Latest Emergency Shelter Openings - Glades

Glades County Emergency Management Latest:

MANDATORY EVACUATION FOR ZONE A IAll areas in red on map below) AND RV’S & MOBILE HOMES.



All General Populace Shelters will open at 1 pm today

Shelter Locations:
Maple Grove Baptist Church, 12777 E SR 78 NE Lakeport
West Glades Elementary, 2586 CR 731, Bldg 500, Muse
Moore Haven High School Gym, 700 Terrier Pride Drive SW, MH
Note: Shelterees should bring bedding, food & water, medications
toiletries. No alchohol or Fire Arms.
Security & Medical will be at these Shelters

Latest Hurricane Shelter Openings

Shelters for those needing it during the event of Hurricane Irma are open Friday,
September 8, 2017 beginning at 8am on the west side of the County.
Due to the evacuations of the City of Clewiston, Hookers Point, Harlem, Flaghole, Montura
Ranch Estates and the communities located within the Mid-County MSBU which includes
Ladeca, Pioneer Plantation and Leon-Dennis Subdivision (Al Don Farming Road), there will
be no shelters open in Clewiston.
The County is working with local and State leaders to provide additional shelters within
the region.
If residents in the evacuation zone plan to evacuate to one of these shelters, they are
asked to bring their own bedding along with a gallon of water per person, per day and
enough food for 3 days as well as any prescription medications they need.
All evacuees are encouraged to take all important, personal documents and
identification.
All residents in the evacuation zone are asked to use shelters as a last resort.
If you need to evacuate and have the means to evacuate to somewhere that is not a
shelter or know someone you can stay with, please take advantage of these options
and do not fill shelters as space is limited.
WHEN: Friday, September 8, 2017, 8am 
 Country Oaks Elementary School 2052 NW Eucalyptus Blvd LaBelle, FL
 Labelle High School 4050 E. Cowboy Way LaBelle, FL
 Labelle Middle School 8000 E. Cowboy Way LaBelle, FL
 Special Needs Shelter – West Glades School, 2500 S Co Rd 731 SW, LaBelle,
FL 33935
These shelters are not pet friendly, however, service animals are allowed.
Persons with special needs must have a caretaker with them while staying at the shelter.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Governor Scott Orders 7 City Evacuations

Governor Rick Scott has ordered voluntary evacuations beginning immediately in the cities surrounding the southern half of Lake Okeechobee from Lake Port to Canal Point in Hendry, Palm Beach and Glades counties. 

Mandatory evacuations will be put in place for these communities beginning tomorrow morning. Information regarding transportation and sheltering will be released tomorrow morning.

The seven cities affected by these orders are as follows:
South Bay
Lake Harbor
Pahokee
Moore Haven
Clewiston
Belle Glade
Canal Point

Governor Scott Order Closes Hospital

Clewiston, FL (September 7, 2017) – 9:00pm – In accordance with Governor Rick Scott’s mandatory evacuation order for the Clewiston community, Hendry Regional Medical Center will be closing for all operations including the Emergency Department and all Outpatient clinics effective immediately

Hendry Regional will be working closely with Local, State and National agencies and partners to return the facility to full operation as soon as possible following the storm.  

Glades County, Fl Evacuation Orders

Attention all residents, due to a recent Planning call, the
following Mandatory Evacuation notice is given for Zone A & the
following:

All residents living in low lying areas, RV Parks, Mobile homes and Pre-
Andrew dwellings that are planning to evacuate to another location such as,
Friends, Relatives, etc... you need to evacuate by noon tomorrow or if you
can leave earlier please do.
All residents living in the following areas (Evacuation Zone A):
Anyone north of 27 Moore Haven City limits to the Hendry County
Line.
Anyone South end Loop Rd to Old Lakeport Rd to Lykes Brothers
Gate.
Anyone in Lakeport that can drive, please go to the Maple Grove
Baptist Church, 12777 E SR 78 NE.
Anyone in Moore Haven that can drive, please go to the Moore Haven
High School 700 Terrier Pride Drive SW.
Anyone needing transportation in Lakeport, please call the
Emergency Operations Center 863-946-6021 or 863-946-0566 for
Transportation.

Anyone Needing transportation from Moore Haven please call
the Emergency Operations Center 863-946-6021 or 863-946-0566
for

Please bring with you essentials: Toiletries, Medications, Bedding,
Clothes, Dietary Needs, Food & Water. Note: Nothing will be
provided.

Shelters will open at 1:00 p.m. Friday

State Orders Mandatory Evacuations Near Lake

The State of Florida has issued a mandatory
evacuation for the eastern portion of Hendry County.
This evacuation is voluntary today, September 7, 2017 however it will become
mandatory tomorrow, Friday. September 8, 2017 at 8:00 a.m.
The evacuation zone includes all of the City of Clewiston, Hookers Point, Harlem,
Flaghole, Montura Ranch Estates and the communities located within the Mid-County
MSBU which includes Ladeca, Pioneer Plantation and Leon-Dennis Subdivision (Al Don
Farming Road).
Please be reminded that Hendry County has already issued a voluntary evacuation for
all residents in non-slab built homes, mobile homes, trailers and R.V.’s.
If you have the means to evacuate without assistance, it is recommended that you do so
at this time. Evacuating to a shelter should be last resort. There is limited space
available in the shelters.
If you require assistance for evacuation, Hendry County is working with the local and
State officials on transportation assistance to get Residents out of the evacuation zone.
There will be no shelters activated in Clewiston.
Hendry County has activated all shelters in the western portion of the County for
residents in the evacuation zone. Shelters will be open effective 8:00 a.m. Friday,
September 8, 2017.

Shelters currently available at 8am on Friday, September 8, 2017 are as follows:

 Country Oaks Elementary School 2052 NW Eucalyptus Blvd LaBelle, FL
 Labelle High School 4050 E. Cowboy Way LaBelle, FL
 Labelle Middle School 8000 E. Cowboy Way LaBelle, FL

These shelters are not pet friendly, however, service animals are allowed.

The County is working with local and State leaders to provide additional shelters within
the region.
If residents in the evacuation zone plan to evacuate to one of these shelters, they are
asked to bring their own bedding along with a gallon of water per person, per day and
enough food for 3 days as well as any prescription medications they need.
All evacuees are encouraged to take all important, personal documents and
identification.
The County has set up a hotline for residents to call for information regarding,
evacuation, shelters, transportation and all other related concerns. This hotline will
available beginning at 8am, Friday September 8, 2017.
 Hendry County hotline number is: 863-674- 5410.
Hendry County officials are in constant communication with State officials to continue
monitoring the storm and will update the public as information becomes available.

Highway Evacuation Help

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is urging motorists to use the department’s real-time traffic information tools to ease their evacuation. Traffic can be heavy at times during a hurricane evacuation and we appreciate the public’s patience. The following real- time traffic information tools are available:

•           Florida 511 - FDOT’s official source for traffic information is Florida 511, orwww.fl511.com. This website provides real-time traffic information on crashes, incidents, construction, congestion, road closures and detours, and other urgent alerts.
•           Traffic Count Information - Real-time evacuation data for Hurricane Irma on state roads. A summary of selected traffic counter data for state roads is available for review at www.fdot.gov/traffic.pdf.  This data is updated hourly.
•           Waze - FDOT and Waze have a data sharing partnership to enhance each partner’s ability to provide needed traffic information to the traveling public. Waze (www.waze.com) is a free navigation app that uses information from millions of drivers to navigate traffic in real-time.

Possible Hurricane Scam Call

LABELLE, FL. -- Be aware that many people are reporting a phone call from (800) 205-6850 that appears to possibly be a scam. Some are reporting the caller says they are from FPL and want you to download an app. Be extremely careful with any calls from numbers you do not know. When in doubt hang up or don't pick up the call or call the business directly and ask if it's legitimate.

Trash Collections Halted

There will be no waste collection in Hendry County for Friday, September 8 or Saturday, September 9 and possibly Monday, September 11 depending on weather conditions.

Residents are strongly encouraged not to place bulk items, trash cans or lids by the road
or in the right-of- way. All trash cans and lids need to be secured on their property to
avoid becoming air-borne in the case of a wind event or becoming a drainage block.

As the County continues to monitor the storm, updates will be provided to the public on
when trash pick-up will resume.

Residents are encouraged to call 2-1- 1, Hendry County’s storm information hotline, for
any information regarding Hurricane Irma.

Sand Bags Going Quickly - Bring Your Shovel

Sandbags are now available for public pickup. Residents will need to bring their own
shovel and will be responsible for loading their own sandbags into their vehicles. Residents
are asked to please limit themselves to 25 sandbags. Please only take what your family
needs.

Bags are going quickly in certain locations, it is advised that you bring large trash bags to fill in
the case that there are no bags at the sand location. Sand is being delivered to all locations
throughout the day today. Fertilizer and mulch bags are also effective alternatives in the case
that residents cannot get sandbags.
WHEN: Thursday, September 6, 2017

WHERE: 

o North LaBelle - Bob Mason Park located on County Road 78.
o LaBelle - LaBelle Rodeo Grounds - Parking lot on State Road 29
South –
o Felda - Felda Volunteer Fire Department – The corner of CR 830
and Willis Ranch Rd North
o Montura-Flaghole – Montura-Flaghole Fire Department - Parking
lot on Avenida Del Club.
o Pioneer - Pioneer Fire Dept., 2499 Hendry Isles Blvd.
o Clewiston – Vacant field north of Health Department on Olympia
Avenue
o Harlem - Harlem Community Center, 7th St, Clewiston, FL 33440
o Hookers Point - Hookers Point Park, Davidson Road

Editors Note: Many authorities say sandbags will not do much good unless you have many hundreds or even thousands of bags. Sandbagging has been studied by the Army Corp of Engineers who gives these instructions if you want to try it properly.

Emergency Shelter Changes

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- THE FOLLOWING SHELTERS ARE THE ONLY SHELTERS THAT WILL BE OPEN WITH SECURITY MEDICAL AT THEM. Any other shelters are not Glades county supported or being opened as shelters for Irma at this time.

Shelters: will open at 5:30 pm 9/8/17, The *PSN Shelter will open at 2pm 9/8/17

MAPLE GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH, 12777 E SR 78 NE, LAKEPORT WEST GLADES ELEMENTARY, 2586 CR 731, BUILDING 500, MUSE Moore Haven High School Gym, 700 Terrier Pride Drive SW, MH *PSN ONLY - WEST GLADES ELEMENTARY, 2586 CR 731, BUILDING 300, MUSE (must be registered) You can get an application at myglades.com and fax it to 863-946- 1091. These have to be approved by Department of Health and take a few days to approve or deny.

Voluntary Evacuations Encouraged For Hurricane

Hendry County is under a hurricane watch as of 11am Thursday, September 7, 2017 according to the county administrator's office.

Note the the National Weather Center has indicated at 11:24 a.m. Thursday

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...
* Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita
Beach
* Florida Keys
* Lake Okeechobee
* Florida Bay
* Cuba from Matanzas province eastward to Guantanamo province

and
...HURRICANE WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT...

* LOCATIONS AFFECTED
    - Palmdale
    - Moore Haven
    - Brighton Seminole
* LOCATIONS AFFECTED
    - La Belle
    - Devils Garden
    - Big Cypress Seminole Reservation
* LOCATIONS AFFECTED
    - Wellington
    - Lion Country Safari
    - Belle Glade
    - Pahokee
* LOCATIONS AFFECTED
    - Golden Gate
    - Immokalee
    - Ave Maria

The County is encouraging voluntary evacuations for residents residing in all low-lying areas. Voluntary evacuations are also encouraged for persons residing in non-slab built homes, mobile homes, trailers and R.V.’s.

Residents are strongly encouraged to make the decision today if they are going to evacuate.

Residents choosing to stay in their homes are reminded to ensure that they have all necessary provisions. This includes gallons of water per each member of the household, per day for 3 days and food for 3 days. Residents are also encouraged to ensure that all outside items are secured in the case of a major wind event.

Hendry County will continue to update residents as information becomes available. Residents are encouraged to call 2-1- 1, Hendry County’s storm information hotline, for any information regarding Hurricane Irma.

For the most accurate storm information go to nhc.noaa.gov with updates every 3 hours

Glenn Taylor Dies At 79

Glenn N. Taylor, Sr., age 79, of Moore Haven, went to be with the Lord, August 30, 2017 peacefully. He was born June 2, 1938 in Citrus Center, FL, to the late Herbert Cleo and the late Patricia Ruth (Barfield) Taylor.
He is survived by two sons: G. Norman Taylor, Jr. (Mollie) and Erik Stephen Taylor (Veleda), and one daughter: Kristi Hingson (Wade), sister: Audrey Whidden, eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Juanita McDuffie Taylor, his daughter, Kayleen Massa and brother, Neil Taylor.
Glenn was a resident of Moore Haven most of his life. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Moore Haven, the BPOE Fraternal Order of the Elks #1853 in Clewiston, a member of the Moore Haven Eagles Club, and served two terms (8 years) on the Glades County School Board, where he served as chairman for most of those years. 
Glenn was very proud of his many years as a cane farmer around Glades and Hendry County, but if asked he would say his greatest achievement were his children, grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren. He was proud to be born and raised in Glades County, where he graduated from Moore Haven High School in the mighty class of 1956.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 10:00 am at First United Methodist Church of Moore Haven, with Pastor Charley Watts officiating. Visitation was Tuesday one hour prior to service at First United Methodist Church of Moore Haven. Interment Tuesday, September 5, 2017 in Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewisto

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Emergency Room Plans To Be Open During Any Storms

Hendry Regional Medical Center Emergency Department in Clewiston will be fully staffed before, during and after Hurricane Irma. Staff is currently in the process of discharging or transferring all current inpatients prior to the storms arrival while they may still be safely transported.

Teams are in place and ready to respond both during and after the Hurricane to ensure medical services remain intact and we are able to serve the area and the needs of the community.

Hendry Regional Medical Center is NOT an ‘Essential Needs Shelter.’ Those with special needs (oxygen dependent, autism, dialysis dependent, hearing impaired, mental health impaired, wheelchair bound, etc.) must be pre-registered with Hendry County Emergency Management by calling 863-674-5400 or http://www.hendryfla.net/Special_Needs_Registration.pdf.

The special needs shelter will be located at West Glades School, and will open at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, September 8th, 2017. Persons using the special needs shelter must have a caregiver with them while staying at the shelter. All others seeking shelter for Hurricane Irma may do so at LaBelle Middle School or Clewiston High School. Those shelters will open Friday, September 8, 2017beginning at 3:00 p.m.

· Labelle Middle School, 8000 E Cowboy Way, LaBelle, FL 33935
· Clewiston High School, 1501 Francisco St, Clewiston, FL 33440
· Special Needs Shelter – West Glades School, 2500 S Co Rd 731 SW, LaBelle, FL 33935

County Hurricane Prep Info Released

Hendry County Administrator, Charles Chapman has ordered the closure of all County offices on Thursday, September 7, 2017 and Friday, September 8, 2017.

These office closures are to ensure that County employees have ample time to prepare their own homes, property and family for the possibility of Hurricane Irma effecting our area beginning this weekend.

Further announcement on County office closures next week will be pending as information on the storm becomes available over the next few days.

Hendry County schools are also closed Thursday and Friday.
Shelters for those who need it during the event of Hurricane Irma will be open Friday,
September 8, 2017 beginning at 3pm on both sides of the County. Initial shelters will be
LaBelle Middle School and Clewiston High School. If needed, other shelters will be opened
across the County and will be named at a later time. If you plan to move to a shelter, please
bring 3 days of food and water for you and any loved ones you are bringing with you to the
shelter.
WHEN: Friday, September 8, 2017 until needed
WHERE:
 Labelle Middle School, 8000 E Cowboy Way, LaBelle, FL 33935
 Clewiston High School, 1501 Francisco St, Clewiston, FL 33440
 Special Needs Shelter – West Glades School, 2500 S Co Rd 731 SW, LaBelle, FL
33935
The special needs shelter will open at 2pm on Friday, September 8, 2017, persons in need must have a caretaker with them while staying at the shelter. Please bring enough food and water for 3 days.

Please bring your own bedding along with enough food and water for 3 days.

Sandbags are now available for public pickup. Residents will need to bring their own shovel and will be responsible for loading their own sandbags into their vehicles. Residents are asked to be courteous to their fellow Hendry residents and limit themselves to 25 sandbags. Please only take what your family needs.

Hookers Point Park is waiting on sand to be delivered and the rodeo grounds in LaBelle is waiting for additional bags. We will inform the public as soon as these materials become available.
WHEN: Wednesday, September 6, 2017

o North LaBelle - Bob Mason Park located on County Road 78.
o LaBelle - LaBelle Rodeo Grounds - Parking lot on State Road 29 South – Waiting for delivery of additional bags
o Felda - Felda Volunteer Fire Department – The corner of CR 830 and Willis Ranch Rd North
o Montura-Flaghole – Montura-Flaghole Fire Department - Parking lot on Avenida Del Club.
o Pioneer - Pioneer Fire Dept., 2499 Hendry Isles Blvd.
o Clewiston – Vacant field north of Health Department on Olympia Avenue
o Harlem - Harlem Community Center, 7th St, Clewiston, FL 33440
o Hookers Point - Hookers Point Park, Davidson Road –Waiting on sand delivery

Glades County Hurricane Information

Glades County Storm Information

School Closings:
All of Glades County Schools will be closed Thursday 9/7/17 & Friday 9/8/17


GENERAL:

211 call center will be activated 9-6-17 to start helping with incoming information calls.


Sands bags: pickup starting 9-6-17 8am -5pm LIMIT 15 bags per person

GCEOC 1097 Health Park Drive, MH (bags ready)
EMS Station 3 – 1132 Pollywog Crossover, Muse (Get bags at EOC, bring shovel & fill yourself)
Lakeport FD – 12999 East State Road 78, Lakeport (Get bags at EOC, bring shovel & fill yourself)
Lakeport Community Center – 1239 Red Barn Road, Lakeport (Get bags at EOC, bring shovel & fill yourself)
BHRFD – Boat Ramp East State Road 78, BHR (Get bags at EOC, bring shovel & fill yourself)


Shelters: will open at 5:30 pm Friday 9/8/17 PSN Shelter will open at 2pm 9/8/17
MAPLE GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH, 12777 E SR 78 NE, LAKEPORT 350
WEST GLADES ELEMENTARY, 2586 CR 731, BUILDING 500, MUSE 330
Moore Haven High School Gym, 700 Terrier Pride Drive SW, MH 500
PSN ONLY - WEST GLADES ELEMENTARY , 2586 CR 731, BUILDING 300, MUSE (must be registered) 60

*Sexual offenders have to shelter at the Glades County Sheriff’s OfficeGlades County EOC

Irma Strikes Antigua - 119mph Winds, Minimal Damage





The first landfall for Hurricane Irma over night was the island of Antigua in the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean.

The Antigua Observer reports no deaths so far but three went to the local hospital for minor medical attention. Communication with nearby Barbuda has been lost after 12:30 a.m. with reports that several buildings had damaged roofs including the police station. Winds were reported at 119 mph with gusts at 150.

The Observer says preliminary reports indicate minimal damage across the islands so far.

Other reports from the Observer: "There were several reports of roof damage in Antigua – in areas like Crosbies, Fort Road, Clare Hall, Grays Farm and Pigotts – four roofs completely off.

"In St George District – An access-way into Barnes Hill had to be cleared by removing a portion of a tree that fell across the road. In St Phillip South, they are in the process of making a quick assessment and will get an update on that.

"In Freetown and Bethesda, a few trees and telephone lines are down. In the Hodges Bay are few poles and telephone wires are down. There was a report of a roof in the road close to Sunnyside and downed trees There was also a report of a container fire on Friars Hill Road. The Fire Department extinguished the fire. Police conducted rescue operations in Crosbies, Fort Road and Whenner Road."

UPDATE: At 12:30 p.m.the Observer reports that main roads have been cleared of the debris of fallen trees and the V C Bird International Airport will be open by 2pm (Eastern Standard Time) Wednesday to accommodate arriving and departing aircraft and passengers. Visitors are encouraged to contact airlines and tour operators if their flights were affected.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne, in a statement earlier today, said that “the work that the Government initiated in advance of the storm paid remarkable dividends. The drains, gutters and reservoirs that were cleared in advance, ensured that the island experienced no flooding, hence eliminating the possibility of water-borne disease.

“The essential point is that our main infrastructure has stood-up and our country can resume normal life within hours”. Asot Michael, the country’s Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy said. “All our visitors remained safe during Hurricane Irma. The island’s Hotels suffered only minimal damage and have already commenced clean-up operations”.

Conditions on Barbuda are not fully clear as yet, but preliminary reports indicate no loss of life and only some damage to private property and one Government facility. Minister Michael indicated that he would be travelling to Barbuda today to assess damage that will be addressed immediately.

“The important take away from all this is that Antigua and Barbuda remains open for business and is already resuming normal life including welcoming visitors to enjoy our little bit of paradise which God continues to protect”, the Minister concluded.

At 8 a.m. Wednesday the category 5 storm was over the island of Anguilla and moving towards the north side of the British Virgin Islands. At noon a wind gust of 87 mph (141 km/h) has recently been reported at St.Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The center is about 125 miles east of San Juan Puerto Rico.

Courtesy: antiguaobserver.com and National Hurricane Center