ProPhoenix User Department Recovery from Hurricane Ian

After slamming Cuba and gaining strength over the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa in southwestern Florida as a powerful Category 4 hurricane. With maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, just shy of a Category 5 storm, Ian tied the record for the fifth strongest hurricane to ever strike the United States. It was the strongest hurricane to hit Florida since Michael in 2018 and the first Category 4 hurricane to impact Southwestern Florida since Charley in 2004.

In addition to the devastating winds, the extreme rainfall produced 1-in-1000 year accumulation in some places in Florida, with Lake Wales reporting nearly 17 inches of rain within 24 hours. The hurricane continued its path across Florida, eventually weakening to a Tropical Storm as it made its way over land, but eventually over the Atlantic Ocean strengthening back into a hurricane before striking South Carolina. Although not as catastrophic as Hurricane Ian’s path through Florida, Hurricane Ian still proved to be a destructive force leaving many areas of Charlestown’s downtown peninsula under water, and washing away parts of four piers along the South Carolina coast.

An estimated 119 total people have died as a result of Hurricane Ian, and the storm was the deadliest to hit Florida since the 1935 Labor Day hurricane. After all was done, a reported 2.3 million in Florida were left without power and storm surge records were set for both Fort Myers and Naples, FL. Many have been left with their homes flooded or destroyed by the hurricane.

Thanks to the resiliency of the people of Florida, and the heroic actions of officials and first responders throughout the state, the people of Florida will recover. We cannot say enough how proud we are to be a partner in this industry. We love to hear stories of the heroic actions of our user departments, and we see first hand just how this industry comes together in times of need to act truly as a family. On this occasion, we want to specifically say thank you and send our thoughts to ProPhoenix user agency North Port PD in North Port, Florida.

North Port, a coastal town in Southwestern Florida just north of Fort Myers, was directly hit by Hurricane Ian. North Port was hit by widespread flooding, and the first responders of North Port immediately sprang into action. In addition to the first responders of North Port, the neighboring Tampa area sent 40 TPD
officers and 15 firefighters to assist with the rescue and clean up. Although the first responders of North Port have their own personal damage to attend to, they have once again put their community before themselves.

In addition to the help that they have received from the neighboring Tampa area, many police departments and the National Guard have been involved in efforts of delivering water, food, and other aid to this devastated area.

We have been in touch daily with the North Port PD to see if they are having any technology challenges or need assistance from us. We are always proud of the great work of our user departments, but we are also very proud to produce top quality software to ensure that Phoenix will not fail when it is needed most. We are pleased and proud to say that North Port PD has reported that Phoenix software remained strong throughout this catastrophic event. Even when tested with use over maximum capacity, our software continued to operate at the level of service that our users have grown to expect. This is actually our second major test from a catastrophic hurricane within the past 10 years, and both times, Phoenix has passed with flying colors. As everyone
remembers, Hurricane Sandy, also known as Superstorm Sandy, hit our company headquarters’ home region in 2012, and in reaching out to our Northeast user departments, we learned that Phoenix software did no falter. A software system cannot physically respond to an emergency, but it can help save lives, and these are the stories that make everything worthwhile for us.

Our hearts go out to North PD, the North Port community and all residents of Florida and South Carolina during this time of recovery. We know that because of the heroic actions of first responders and the selfless actions of public officials throughout these states, these areas will recover.

We are asking at this time, if anyone would like to donate or help the North Port PD in any way that you please contact Captain Gregory at bgregory@northportpd.com. Any help that you anyone can provide is greatly appreciated.