The City of Marco Island held a press conference to alert the public although storm system Isaac will not make a direct impact to Marco Island, there is still concern over flooding. There could be as much as seven inches of rain and also a predicted 5’-7’ storm surge. According to Chief Murphy, a high tide of three feet above sea level is expected at 8:00 AM Monday morning and flooding could be an issue considering the surge.
Present at the meeting were City Council Chairman, Larry Magel, Chief Murphy, Deputy Chief Dave Baer and Councilman Gerry Gibson. Chief Hunter was present as was Deputy Fire Chief Chris Byrne and Sgt. Hector Diaz.
“At this point we are not planning on any evacuations. We don’t foresee a problem at the Jolley Bridge. It should not be impacted, but there may be standing water on Collier Boulevard and people that have left the island will not need permits to re-enter. All utilities will remain operational weather permitting.
City staff is working in an all hands on deck scenario; police, fire, public works, utilities, parks and rec and building services are all manned waiting for any eventuality that may occur. Personnel doing all sorts of things they don’t normally do, cross training, so they can work in different areas. In the parking lot outside, there is a fuel truck, to provide fuel in case gas stations didn’t have power and to keep City operations functional. There are front loaders and dump truck, just part of the equipment that has been pre-positioned in the event things were worse than expected. Hats off to city staff having gone all out to be sure they were prepared to handle any scenario. On another note, the City Manager has decided City staff will work on a regular basis tomorrow with a late start, 10:00 AM, weather permitting.”
Chief Murphy, “Our motto: prepare for the worst, hope for the best. This particular storm has veered to the west. Flooding and loss of power are still a concern. One thing we would like to encourage our citizens: Do not be on the road unless necessary. If you need supplies get them now and then remain indoors. Monitor the City website, but please stay indoors. If there is an emergency, dial 911. Call the City line at 389-5000 for any information. We have already experienced some minor power problems which LCEC responded too quickly.”
Deputy Chief Baer, “From a police perspective, our call volume has not gone up drastically. We’ve used Code Red several times to keep people informed and this press conference is an extension of that effort. Interestingly, we noticed 1,500 more people signed up for Code Red alerts since the first alert went out yesterday morning. The city has a plan. It’s a team effort between the police department, fire rescue department, community development, public works, utility department, etc. We have been planning for about a week, we execute this plan according. Is it a water event? Is it a wind event? It’s a team effort and my hats off to employees.”
Gerry Gibson, “This is the third event like this I have been a part of and I really want to compliment the staff at the city on their level of preparedness. The leadership, the department managers, the Chief’s, and City Manager on their high level of preparedness, a job well, well done.”
The Emergency Operations Center is on the 2nd floor. Conference calls are being held three times per day, the next one is at 6:00 PM. Deputy Chief Baer noted all numbers are going into one call center, the 911, general information numbers, 389-5000, 389-5040 and 389-5050 are being monitored digitally.
The City will continue to monitor the storm. Typical areas of flooding are San Marco Road at Barfield, Collier Blvd. at Yellowbird and along 92A going to Goodland.