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Veteran with leaking roof to receive help sooner than expected

Posted at 10:08 PM, Nov 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-11 22:08:40-05

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — On this Veterans Day, a Fox 4 viewer stepping in to help a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel with roof problems he's been dealing with since after Hurricane Ian.

Last night, we introduced you to Jim Rafferty. He was struggling to find any help to fix his tarp after Tropical Storm Nicole and after the Army Corps of Engineers said they couldn’t help. Rafferty says he nearly lost hope.

That was until he received a call today from a viewer who caught the story on Fox 4.

"We went from no help to a plethora of help.

It’s been a whirlwind of the last 24 hours for Jim Rafferty and his daughter Cathy Rowley.

From a point of despair…

"It was at a point where if one more thing happened, that’s it," said Cathy. "That’s enough.”

To a point of hope.

“I am just thrilled how quickly everything turned around because it was at a pivotal point of despair.”

Since Hurricane Ian, Jim and his daughter Cathy have been living in a shell of Jim’s home. No roof, no walls, and buckets collecting water from the torn up tarp above.

"If there’s more rain, even a long term misting rain, it’s going to come back into the house," says Cathy. "The roof is saturated as it is. The boards can’t handle anymore.”

After our story aired last night, Ridge Valley Exteriors reached out to us saying they wanted to help. But Jim already signed a contract with Epic Roofing Company, who told him they wouldn’t be able to come out until January.

“I told them that I do realize we do have a contract and that the contract says they don’t have to start before January 3, is there anything that they can do?” said Cathy.

As it turns out — there is. Epic Roofing moved by not only our story, but by the help of Ridge Valley wanting to step in. And decided to jumpstart the permit process with a plan to repair the roof on Monday.

“It was certainly an uplifting feeling," said Jim. "I had to call my brother up in New York to tell him how happy I was to hear all of this and I am still. I’m looking forward to Monday.”

Jim also has a general contractor lined up to help repair the inside of his home once the roof is repaired. Bringing a surprise gift to this veteran on Veterans Day.

"It’s going to be still a long process," said Jim. "But there will be progress and we’ll hope for the best.”