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Hurricane Irma 7 months later, seawall damage still an issue

Posted at 10:59 PM, Mar 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-23 22:59:43-04

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla., -- A North Fort Myers could be looking at an $18,000 bill in order to get her seawall fixed that was damaged from Hurricane Irma seven months ago. 

"I was imposed and been pressured to work on a deadline when I don’t have a lot of help from other contractors," said Heather Truong, who owns a home in North Fort Myers. 

Truong says Lee County gave her a violation for $25 per day unless she gets her seawall fixed by June 7th. However, Truong says she's called 12 different contractors and all of them are backed up from the storm. 

“The whole county is scrambled to find a contractors.”

Truong was able to get one contractor to give her an estimate which was $18,000 and a two-month waiting list. Fox 4 reached out to the County to see if they would financially assist Truong. They provided this statement: 

“Residents had the ability to apply for FEMA ID numbers for assistance and apply for loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.”

However, when Fox 4 reached out to FEMA they said, "“FEMA does not provide assistance for landscaping and private seawalls.”

Truong says her home insurance will not cover the damage of the seawall due to the storm and is struggling to find other options. Danny Campole, who rents the home from Truong, has tried to help her out in figuring out what to do, but says the County needs to step in. 

“I want to see them give the homeowners time to be able to get estimates and be able to get the work started and get done.”

The County says she and others in her position can look into asking Senator Bill Nelson for help. The Senator is trying to get federal assistance. His local office can be reached at 239-334-7760 and his D.C. office is 202-224-5274.