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Homeowner asking for help after tree falls on home, preventing power restoration

Posted at 10:50 PM, Oct 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-12 04:42:32-04

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. — Thousands throughout Southwest Florida remain without power.

Lee County Electric Cooperative have been working around the clock to restore power to those most impacted. Still there are several customers in areas where debris is making restoration difficult.

LCEC tells us a lot of areas cannot be fully restored because of debris and brush. Something that one homeowner in North Fort Myers is all too familiar with.

"Anybody that can come and help. It’s a big job… it’s a big job.”

A desperate plea in this North Fort Myers community as a veteran’s home sits buried beneath a tree.

Homeowner asking for help after tree falls on home, preventing power restoration

“This is his house," says Judy Turgeon, speaking about her neighbor's home. "It was hit with the hurricane, as you can see, and he doesn’t have the funds to have any of this removed.”

Turgeon is neighbors with Charles Markin, a Navy veteran who’s home now sits beneath the mass of tree limbs. She’s looking for help so that power can be restored back to his home.

"Right now he’s staying with us until we can get this situation taken care of," said Turgeon. "The house inside is livable. I’m surprised that a tree didn’t go through the roof but it is livable inside but we can’t get power until we get this cleaned up.”

It’s a situation many throughout Southwest Florida are dealing with right now. As electric crews work around the clock.

“At the end, we’re doing a lot of work and it’s in the toughest areas- maybe in backyards and hard to access areas," said Karen Ryan, Public Relations Director with LCEC. "Only to get three or four small pockets of customers on at a time.”

But when there’s vegetation or debris, LCEC says that makes it difficult for line crews to access utilities.

"What they have to do is send a tree trimming crew to clear all of that and then they can restore the lines," said Ryan. "Often, they’re not going to stand there and wait. They’ll go and then they’ll have to go back after the vegetation has cleared.”

Something Turgeon hopes can be done sooner rather than later at her neighbor’s home.

"We have a lot of good veterans here and a lot of organizations that are willing to help," says Turgeon. "I’m just hoping that somebody will be willing to give back.”

LCEC says some homes may not have had power restored right away because of these tree limbs. They say they will continue working with tree trimming crews to help them access those hard to reach areas.