Rescue and emergency response missions have been delayed in some hard-hit areas of Florida due to dangerous storm conditions, state and local officials said.
In Charlotte County, emergency management director Patrick Fuller said Wednesday night that emergency response teams there won’t be able to answer calls for help “until the dangerous situation is over.” Officials hope to resume responses by Thursday morning.
Other counties were inundated with emergency calls, and the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said they were in “triage mode.”
“We have received numerous calls from people trapped in their homes,” the office said in a statement Wednesday.
“Some people have reported life-threatening medical emergencies in deep water. We’ll find them first. Some people have reported water entering their houses, but not life-threatening. They’ll have to wait. Probably until the water recedes. “
First responders in Fort Myers are now investigating the damage, according to the Fort Myers Fire Department Thursday morning.
“Workers reported debris on the road, flooding, downed power lines, utility poles on the road, traffic lights out, vehicles malfunctioning and buildings collapsed,” the department said, asking residents to stay indoors.
Gov. Ron DeSantis warned at a news conference Wednesday that 911 calls may not be answered immediately in some areas.
“Local first responders will be deployed as soon as it is safe to do so,” DeSantis said, adding that “generally, they will not go into rescue and put their own people at risk until the storm has passed. among.”