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Cape Coral homeowner looking for help as two-story house boat sits on his dock since Hurricane Ian

Posted at 11:18 PM, Jan 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-12 05:16:08-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Imagine walking out your backdoor to this— a two-story eye sore, floating in your canal.

That’s the reality for one Cape Coral man, who has been stuck living with a house boat on his dock since Hurricane Ian. A situation that is becoming more desperate by the day.

"It mounted the seawall there, and then the wind just slid it down and it broke my dock. My dock is ruined.”

It's a harsh reality for Cape Coral homeowner Gerard Mazzella.

"It's on my seawall and it's been here since the storm.”

A two-story houseboat that drifted down the canal from his neighbor's house.

“(He) doesn't have the money, he doesn't have the people to do this for him," says Mazzella, talking about his neighbor too who the houseboat belongs. "It is his responsibility and if it was mine, I couldn't let it stay here.”

Mazzella has even tried reaching out to the FWC and the county. The only issue…

"Deaf ears," he says. "No one is willing to help me- not the owner. Everybody's trying but it seems like nobody can.”

One of Mazzella's biggest concerns is the impact this home will have not only on his seawall but his dock. Already you can see what it's done to his dock, shifting some of the boards making it unsafe to walk on.

“I cannot use my boat for the last 60, 90 days," said Mazzella. "And I don't know what's going on with this thing as far as if it's leaking into the water, what's underneath there, and it cannot be refloated. It's got to be destroyed. It's got to be taken apart.”

We've reached out to the FWC. They told us the same thing they told Mazzella.

"They were out here, all of their officers," he says. "What their guidelines are that they can't remove anything from the water unless it has a registration number on it.”

They did provide an alternative solution. Something the county, who we also reached out to, provided as well.

"They referred me to Ian Rescue Emergency. I filled out an application online, I sent that application back in on December 14 and haven't heard from them since. And I sent two more emails this past week.”

This has led to now, with Mazzella remaining hopeful someone can help out.

"Maybe I can find the right people or somebody will come out and we'll get this thing out of my backyard.”