NAPLES, Fla. – Hurricane Ian caused flooding that left abandoned cars and boats scattered all over areas of Naples. Outside help arrived Thursday to respond to piling 911 calls of people who were stranded.
The assessment of the damage was difficult for Jose Ricardo Logo who found his business flooded on Thursday. He walked through the receding water in his dining room and kitchen at the Country House Restaurant near the Gordon River.
Naples Mayor Teresa Heitmann described the city’s damage as catastrophic. Logo said his Paradise Coast community was devastated.
“We thought Irma was bad. We thought Charlie was bad. This is nothing like I have ever experienced,” Logo, 29, said. “Cars abandoned. Boats are floating everywhere.”
Logo said there were residents who didn’t survive. State officials reported at least seven hurricane-related deaths. The Federal Emergency Management Agency teams were searching for residents in need of rescue.
Also west of the Gordon River and south of Rock Creek, Richard Munoz was assessing the damage at the Second 2 None Auto Center on Davis Boulevard and Commercial Drive.
“Everything kind of destroyed. I mean, computers, a lot of paperwork titles that I have for cars, I had to take them out they are wet,” Munoz said. “Spite of everything, we have our lives and that’s more important.”
Officials reported the hurricane’s 20-foot waves from the Gulf of Mexico destroyed the historic Naples Pier.
Without working traffic lights, police officers asked drivers to treat intersections as four-way stop signs.
The Naples Airport remained closed to the public.
The storm’s destruction disrupted communications, electricity, water supply, and other services.
Workers were setting up temporary cell phone towers and crews were working to restore power in the area.
Naples remains under a citywide 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
COLLIER COUNTY NOTICES
- The water division issued a boil-water order.
- The public utility department asked residents to keep storm debris separate from regular household garbage.
- The sheriff’s office reported the inability to respond to every 911 call will improve due to mutual aid units. Deputies prioritized life-threatening medical emergencies in deep water.
- The Collier Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization, was asking for donations.
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Torres contributed to this report from Miami.