E-commerce giant Amazon is resuming operations in Tampa Bay after Hurricane Ian slammed Florida’s Gulf Coast.
More than 60 Amazon facilities across the Southeast closed because of the storm, most of them in Florida, Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told the Tampa Bay Times on Friday.
Hurricane Ian made landfall near Fort Myers on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm and headed north toward Jacksonville, going back into the Atlantic Ocean and is expected to hit South Carolina on Friday.
The Tampa Bay area was spared the worst of the storm and local Amazon employees have started to return to work after officials reopened roads and lifted evacuation mandates, Nantel said. It’ll take time to ramp up operations in Tampa again and customers may experience delivery delays. In the Central Florida region, Amazon has fulfillment center warehouses that sort approximately a million packages a day in Temple Terrace, Ruskin, Lakeland and Auburndale, with several delivery stations spread throughout.
Further south, deliveries are paused indefinitely.
“In Fort Myers, we continue to be completely shut down and probably will be for a while,” Nantel said.
Three Amazon facilities near the impact zone had severe water damage but Nantel did not specify which locations. There are also some sites that are still unreachable and unsafe to assess damages in Southwest Florida, she said.
Amazon is working with the American Red Cross out of its disaster relief hub in Atlanta to get a million relief items such as prepared meals, tarps, and 360,000 bottles of water to people impacted by the storm.
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Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Ian coverage
TAMPA BAY CLOSURES: What to know about bridges, roads in Ian’s aftermath
WHEN THE STORM HAS PASSED: Now what? Safety tips for returning home.
POST-STORM QUESTIONS: After Hurricane Ian, how to get help with fallen trees, food, damaged shelter.
WEATHER EFFECTS: Hurricane Ian was supposed to slam Tampa Bay head on. What happened?
WHAT TO DO IF HURRICANE DAMAGES YOUR HOME: Stay calm, then call your insurance company.
MORE STORM COVERAGE: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane.