‘Anything we can do to help:’ Osceola deputies head to Lee County to offer help after Hurricane Ian

Deputies will help with security, safety in Ian’s aftermath

Deputies with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office were deployed Wednesday to Lee County, which is still struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, the sheriff’s office said.

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Deputies with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office are set to deploy Wednesday to Lee County, which is still struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, the sheriff’s office said in a release.

The sheriff’s office said it received activation orders to deploy as a State Emergency Response Team, which will be responsible for helping with safety and security after Ian wreaked havoc in Lee County.

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“Those guys down there in Lee County need us so that’s where we are going,” Deputy Bert Diaz said.

News 6 spoke to Diaz before he left with his team on Wednesday. He said he was in the Fort Myers area with family a few weeks ago on vacation and said the images from there are heartbreaking.

“That’s why we are all here, there’s a bunch of us going down there and anything we can do to help that community and not only the community, but our fellow law enforcement officers that actually live down there and have to go through all of that,” Diaz said.

Sheriff Marcos Lopez said his deputies have been working around the clock since Ian impacted Osceola County, bringing flooding to several neighborhoods. But, he said he felt the need to bring resources to Southwest Florida too.

“The areas in Osceola County are well contained. Water levels are going down, pretty much the only one mandatory evacuation area we had was at Good Samaritan, we got all those out. They are still accessing those areas but for the most part, everything is under control here right now,” Lopez explained.

According to the release, the response team will include 25 members of the sheriff’s office and other law enforcement agents, who will head to areas in Fort Myers impacted by Ian.

The team took ATVs and airboats but before they said goodbye, they gathered for a prayer.

“We ask that you stand with us, and we ask for your blessing on our sheriff, on our department, and all the men and women who are sacrificing themselves today to lift the State of Florida,” Chaplain Nancy Rosado said.

Lopez said he will be with his team in Lee County. They are expected to be back in one week.

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