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Elsa's rains bring Cape Coral seawall concerns

Posted at 11:05 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 23:05:20-04

Waterfront and Cape Coral are three words that just go hand in hand.

The Vice President of Williamson Bros. Marine Construction Inc. knows this all too well,

"I think we have about 500 miles of seawall here in Cape Coral," said Jimmy Williamson.

But following the downpour, Hurricane Elsa brought to Southwest Florida, comes a concern for waterfront properties.

"With all of the rainfall we had here in this tropical storm, with another tropical storm or a hurricane, there's an increased danger of a seawall failure," Williamson said.

He adds that he's seen this happen in our area before, in 2017, just after Hurricane Harvey passed through.

"What it did was it saturated the soil so much that when [Hurricane] Irma came it sucked out the water in the canal and then the seawalls lost that equalizing pressure of the water and a lot of seawalls buckled," he said.

To avoid a possible "buckle" ahead of the next possible storm, Williamson says you should look for these signs to see if the soggy sand and dirt holding up one side of the wall is causing damage to it.

"Anybody can sit on their seawall and see if it looks misaligned, they can stand on their dock and look at the seawall panels, and if they see any cracks that's a warning sign," he said.

And with an especially active hurricane season expected this year, he is urging folks to call an expert ahead of the next storm, if they have any doubts about your seawall.

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Hurricane WATCH: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Hurricane WARNING: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.