Local state of emergency enacted due to Lee County flooding

Posted at 8:33 AM, Aug 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-31 18:33:06-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Heavy rain and localized flooding have urged concerned Lee County leaders to declare their own local state of emergency.

County commissioners addressed concerns in what's known as the Wildcat Drive Area, located east of Eisenhower Boulevard, between State Road 82 and Corkscrew Road.

"If you have a heart attack, the EMS truck cannot get to you.  If you have a fire, the fire truck can't get to you.  The United States Postal Service cannot get to you," says Commissioner Frank Mann about certain private roads within his district that get so washed out, emergency vehicles can't access residents.

To prevent lives from being at risk, commissioners declared a state of emergency for the areas on the map seen here.

"This authorizes us for those specific purposes to improve the roads so that those vehicles can get the people in need."

180 homes are on these private roads in the area of concern.  The people who live there are responsible for keeping the roads passable, but residents so far have not agreed to the price tag for making that happen.

"Landowners can get together and create a little taxing district for themselves, where not only can they repair the road, but they can repair the road for the foreseeable future."

But until that happens, taxpayers will have to bail them out when emergency situations like this occur.

Commissioners say the local state of emergency will be lifted once road improvements are made.