Recovery is still taking place in Sanibel Island, one of the several barrier islands on Florida’s west coast that faced the brunt of Hurricane Ian in September.
As a way to help with the devastation, the Orlando Police Department is sending groups of officers to help respond to calls on the barrier island for the next five weeks.
In a press release, OPD said Sanibel Island has experienced several burglaries and thefts following the hurricane. Orlando officers will assist in patrol functions, the press release said.
The first group, consisting of a lieutenant, a sergeant and 10 officers, was sent out Friday afternoon. Their deployment will run from Nov. 25 to Dec. 2. Officers will be staying at a base camp.
Hurricane Ian made landfall at Cayo Costa State Park and headed up into Charlotte Harbor just like Hurricane Charley in 2004. It caused tens of billions of dollars in property damage after roaring through Southwest Florida with 150 mph winds and generated a storm surge of more than ten feet.
Sanibel’s causeway, connecting the island to Fort Myers, was damaged and dozens of homes and apartment complexes were torn apart, killing some residents. As of last week, Ian had caused 139 confirmed deaths, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.