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Frustrations mount after six days in the dark

More than a hundred thousand people remain without power
Posted at 8:43 AM, Oct 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-04 08:44:58-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — The sounds of chainsaws fill the air at Tom Zablocki’s neighborhood in southwest Cape Coral.

After six days of having a giant palm tree in the driveway of his home, he’s finally getting it removed.

But that’s just one of many problems facing his neighborhood near Eldorado Parkway and Sands Boulevard.

“We have some dangerous situations. We have a couple trees that are resting on power lines and they’re on a bad angle. The only thing keeping these huge trees up are the power lines themselves,” said Zablocki.

There’s another problem that’s now oozing onto the surface.

“Now we’ve got sewage backing up in the streets and that is just making the neighborhood very uncomfortable,” Zablocki said.

In fact, one of his neighbors put up a sign urging people to stop flushing their toilets until the sewage system can get fixed.

Neighbor Michael Beauregard and his wife were at their home in New Hampshire when Ian made landfall.

When they returned to Southwest Florida, they found a foot and a half of water in their home.

“I haven’t heard from anybody,” Beauregard said. “Communication has been a problem.”

Cape Coral Mayor John Gunter says the three biggest areas of need in the Cape are water, sewage and electricity.

Water service has been restored to most residents.

Sewage backups have become problematic due to failing electricity.

Governor Ron DeSantis announced Monday the state is sending Cape Coral 100 generators to help run sewage stations.

As far as electricity, that remains a big problem.

Twice, the Governor has called on LCEC to allow outside crews to help with power restoration.

Monday, DeSantis said thousands of additional lineman would be available to the power co-op and that the state would pick up the tab on any extra costs.

“I think they’re working really hard. But this is a unique disaster,” DeSantis said, while adding he believes the power company will accept the additional resources.

LCEC says they have a 2,000 person team dedicated to power restoration.

Right now, only around 5,000 customers have had their power restored, but the company is hoping to have 95% of their Cape Coral customers restored by Saturday.