Miami-Dade utility workers head to southwest Florida to aid Ian repair efforts

Miami-Dade County deployed crews to Fort Myers to help with ongoing to restore water service after Hurricane Ian.

MEDLEY, Fla. – In order to get water lines up and running again, Miami-Dade County sent a large group of utility workers to the other coast of Florida to begin making critical repairs after Hurricane Ian decimated the area.

The group left the county’s yard in Medley Friday morning, making the two-hour trek to hard-hit Fort Myers Beach.

In all, the county is sending some 20 water utility professionals to Fort Myers Beach to help start some of the repairs to that town’s infrastructure.

In order to help with that work, the group is transporting its own supplies and equipment—including two dump trucks, two trailers, multiple compressors—plus two backhoes, as well as a large diesel fuel truck.

“We’re gonna go up there and we’re gonna begin two different efforts. Number one, they have water pump stations that were inundated with saltwater. We’re gonna go clean them out, they’re gonna have to be re-plumbed and re-wired,” Roy Coley, the director of Miami-Dade’s water and sewer department said. “Our electricians are going to re-wire them all, to get those pump stations up and running. At the same time, we have distribution crews who are going to go in and start identifying leaks and isolating those, so we can reestablish water pressure.”

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said with South Florida spared from the worst of Ian, “it’s our job now to lend a helping hand.”

The crews that left Friday will stay in southwest Florida for about a week and then another South Florida crew will be sent in to relieve them.

Coley said the county is in this for the long haul and will stay as long as it takes to finish the job.

About the Authors:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.