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Fort Myers Beach powers up
September 12, 2017

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Mike Erosky didn't hesitate when he saw ice for sale Tuesday at the Fort Myers Beach's CVS store.

"I asked how much I could get, and they said there wasn't a limit," he said. "So I said I'll take 200 pounds."

Then he drove up and down his neighborhood and his street, Hercules, to deliver bags of ice to his friends and neighbors.

Ice - and electricity - is a commodity this week after Hurricane Irma whirled through Lee County.

The hurricane tracked through southwest Florida, hitting Marco Island first before weakening to a category 2 as it passed north along I-75. On Tuesday it had downgraded to a tropical cyclone as it traveled up through Georgia.

Much of the south end of Fort Myers Beach had power restored Tuesday morning, but the rest of the island could be waiting for a while before their lights come back on.

According to Florida Power and Light's website, 187,710 of its Lee County customers are still out of power. Amelia Gomez, a media relations member for FPL, said only county-wide information is available at this time. The company is estimating it could take until Sept. 22 to completely restore its west coast service territory, which includes multiple counties including Lee County.

Many residents have turned to generators to keep essential appliances like refrigerators running.

Gomez said residents can check FPL's Facebook page, FPL Connect, or Twitter to stay up to date. FPL also has a "power tracker" feature on its website displaying county-wide information at fplmaps.com.

Vice Mayor Tracey Gore said more and more streets were getting power by Tuesday afternoon; some mid-island residents reported their homes had power restored.

According to an update from Roger Hernstadt, Town Manager, CVS, Publix on Estero Boulevard, the southernmost 7-Eleven station, and Topps Supermarket are open and selling water, ice and groceries.

Some stores and restaurants have regained power in spots of Lee County. Downtown Fort Myers has had power restored, as has parts of Cape Coral.

For now, neighbors on Fort Myers Beach are helping each other recover and spreading new information as fast as it comes in.

"The people here are very nice, and they have accepted me into their arms," Erosky said, after dropping off another bag of ice to a neighbor. "This was my first hurricane. I made it through okay, I got lucky."

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