CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Today the City of Cape Coral will vote whether or not to study ways to make getting out of the city in case of a hurricane easier for you.
The study will analyze roads and their clearance times that are used during emergency events like hurricanes. Hurricane Irma hit Southwest Florida back in 2017 and now leaders want to better prepare the cities for storms.
“The biggest take away for me from Irma is a lot of times residents they make the decision too late to evacuate and what happens is everybody tries to leave at once at usually it’s too late,” said Mayor of Cape Coral John Guenter.
Many residents say they use roads like Burnt Store Road as a hurricane evacuation route. They say it is also a road that’s very busy on any given day and it causes heavy traffic.
“There are evacuation routes for all of the residents. We’re a little over 200,000 in population now. We’re growing each and every year,” Guenter said.
Burnt Store Road is a county road that flows through the city of Cape Coral up through Charlotte County eventually running through I-75. This agreement is between the city and the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization.
“We’re in the process of doing a transportation master plan. We are in discussions now. That’s probably going to be a year long process,” Guenter said.
It’s expected to cost $300,000 with the city to kick in up to $150,000. The meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
“I think it’s extremely important to get it going because we are growing exponentially and we have to make sure that if an emergency arises that we are prepared,” Guenter said.
We will keep you updated with what the city decides.
For more information, check out the All Hazards Guide to prepare for all types of disasters in Lee County.