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Wednesday, 13 September 2017 23:58

Hurricane Irma update: FEMA slow to respond, has few specifics for Fort Myers disaster recovery

Written by  USA Today

FORT MYERS, Fla. — It's been four days since people have had a hot meal. It's been four days since Lehigh Acres and Gateway residents have been able to leave their flooded neighborhoods.

There are still 600 evacuees in shelters.

Yet, ahead of President Trump's planned visit to Southwest Florida Thursday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) still has not opened any Disaster Recovery Centers in Lee County. It wasn't until late Wednesday afternoon that Fort Myers and county officials notified residents about locations to receive food, water and essential commodities.

Hurricane Irma devastated this region, leaving thousands without power, flooding roadways and homes, forcing gridlock at gas stations and leaving grocery shelves empty.

When Hurricane Charley hit in 2004, a Disaster Recovery Center in this area, which includes Cape Coral, Sanibel, Estero and Bonita Springs, was up and running in three days. 

Hurricane Irma: Complete coverage from the USA TODAY Network

More: Florida Keys: An evacuation that worked and saved lives. Here's why.

More: Hurricane season has arrived with a deadly vengeance. Science can explain a few reasons why.

During a Wednesday afternoon news conference, officials had few details about providing food and water to residents impacted by Hurricane Irma. After The News-Press pushed for information, city and county officials announced the opening of distribution centers.

Read more at USA Today

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