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Hurricane Irma, September 10, 2017. 

Highest velocity winds registered at the Alva, Florida Fire Station, across the river from Oak Park, were over 140 mph at about 50 feet above ground.

Over 40 homes of our 198 were severely damaged. Owners ultimately chose to completely replace 4.

When you look at the damage recorded here, be sure to take another look at the pictures in our photo gallery taken since. Thanks to valiant and immediate response by snowbird residents who flew in from up north, full time resident volunteers already here, our ready on-site staff and the ongoing work of our Oak Park Board of Directors the park enjoyed a full and complete 2017-2018 winter season of activities and by Christmas that season looked as lovely as ever.

Hurricane Irma fast facts from TV 2, Fort Myers:

  • The first major hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005.
  • Irma reached Category 5 strength and made seven landfalls. Irma hit the northern Caribbean Islands as a Category 5, hit the Florida Keys as a Category 4, and hit Southwest Florida as a Category 3. Oak Park and communities all along the lower Caloosahatchee River suffered especially because of the eye of the hurricane passing directly overhead, with winds recorded at 145 miles per hour at the Alva Firehouse, about 60 feet above sea level.
  • One of the costliest hurricanes on record in the Atlantic basin.
  • In Collier County, at least 88 buildings were destroyed and 1,500 buildings were badly damaged. Oak park lost 4 homes completely, three were rebuilt, and about 40 were severely damaged and repaired.
  • Irma caused 47 direct deaths attributed to strong winds, heavy rains, and high surf. The majority of deaths happened in the Caribbean Islands where Irma’s winds were the strongest. Only 10 direct deaths were reported in the U.S. with an additional 82 indirect deaths reported, 77 of which were in Florida.
  • Irma produced 25 confirmed tornadoes – 21 in Florida and four in South Carolina. Of the tornadoes, three were EF-2, 15 were EF-1, and 7 were EF-0. The majority of the tornadoes touched down along the east coast of central and northern Florida.
  • About 6 million Florida residents were evacuated during the storm.
  • NOAA estimates wind and water damage in the US totaled about $50 billion making Irma the fifth costliest hurricane to affect the country behind Katrina (2005), Harvey (2017), Maria (2017), and Sandy (2012).

View the News Press Reporter Amy Bennett Williams video report: 



Dave Haverkate flew south immediately after Hurricane Irma hit and made these You Tube videos for owners to see their homes on the internet.

CORK https://youtu.be/KCYT4akrH8Q

ALOE https://youtu.be/HBL6uymawv0  

ASHE https://youtu.be/8--cvIzS1uA 

KELP https://youtu.be/einoQtPsmAk 

HAY2 https://youtu.be/ieVsC4nNOWo 

ELDER https://youtu.be/kJk-WuJL7Bw

HAY1 https://youtu.be/iZOL5AnAp5k

WATERFRONT https://youtu.be/V3AP8ZCjek4

BASIL https://youtu.be/dYRO6DgP5fY

HAY https://youtu.be/jbyNZ01aoLc

JUTE https://youtu.be/JwaIHi0zVfA

ILEX https://youtu.be/igIq5_imdKU

FILL https://youtu.be/6oF-k23IOoc

GRAPE https://youtu.be/n6Rb1_sqD0s