More than two dozen firefighters from Manatee County’s fire districts are helping with recovery efforts in Collier County in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Hurricane Irma was a Category 4 storm when it made a second landfall in Florida in Collier County with the eye coming over Marco Island. The storm then continued to wobble east, passing over Hardee and Polk counties and sparing Manatee County from a direct hit or an impact by the worst storms or winds.
With the most significant damage in Manatee County being massive power outages and more than half of traffic lights not working, local fire districts deployed some its own resources down to Collier County.
Twenty-eight firefighters from six of Manatee County’s fire districts were sent to Collier County on Monday, according to Lee Whitehurst, East Manatee Fire Rescue District’s senior fire coordinator. Manatee fire crews have since been assisting with clearing roads and buildings. They have also been responding to calls for the North Collier and Immokalee fire departments.
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Included in the crews deployed is the Light Technical Rescue Team from the City of Bradenton. According to South Manatee Fire Rescue, they sent five of their fire engines to Collier County and one to DeSoto County.
Sarasota County Fire Rescue was en route to Collier County with five fire engines and a battalion chief. But while they were on their way, it was cancelled, according to spokeswoman Ashley Lusby.