CAPE CORAL, Fla. — City leaders giving an update on the recovery efforts from Hurricane Ian, now at four weeks since the storm hit.
As more trucks haul more and more debris away, many questions remain on debris collection and permitting.
"We can make sure that we are financially in the best position we can be moving forward.”
Inside Cape Coral Council Chambers, the future of the city is on the agenda and it starts with permits.
“We’re going through a paper process right now to be able to quickly get through all of those permits," says Ryan Lamb, Fire Chief & Emergency Management Officer for the City of Cape Coral. "We know a majority of the roofs here in Cape Coral were damaged so they’re all going to require permits to get fixed.”
To allow for a quicker, more stream-lined process the city says it will start a ‘push-button’ system. That way more permits can get out and recovery can begin sooner. Also on the minds of many- debris collection.
“One of the big questions that everyone has been asking about- the resident C&D drop-off site will open tomorrow morning at 8:00. The hours will be 8-6 daily.”
You don’t have to look too far to see just how much has piled up in the last month. Since the start of debris collection, the city says crews have removed more than 13,000 truckloads from Cape Coral streets. That’s the size of 104 football fields!
"Certainly there’s volumes and volumes of this debris that’s out there," said Lamb. "It’s going to take some time for that to get collected.”
At the Cape Coral Yacht Club, you can see some of that destruction from Hurricane Ian first-hand. You can see some of the debris piling up in the roads and some of the boats being left unmanned in the harbor.
"Because of the amount of storm surge seen at that location, it did get over the electrical outlets," Lamb said. "So it’s red tagged due to that and due to some structural stability in some different areas. That’s going to be a longer push for the structures there.”
The yacht club will stay closed for now due to safety concerns. City leaders will also host a town hall next week with FEMA. There they hope to continue to receive aid and get the debris off the streets, shingles on the roof and boats back in the harbor.
Said Lamb, "It’s important for us here in the city we advocate for our city, for our residents, to make sure that we get our equal share of representation.”
The city also says to avoid bagging up debris otherwise it won’t be picked up. The best method is to leave it out at your curb or take it to a debris drop-off site.
Residents can drop off vegetative debris at 2930 NW 13th Street from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily. You can also see an interactive debris collection map right here. Or check out the hurricane debris and garbage collection page.