November 30, 2022

Bob Menchaca, a six-year resident on Myakka Drive, talks about the 18 inches of floodwaters that devastated his home near North Port after the destruction of Hurricane Ian.
Alicia Bonnett, a resident on Myakka Drive, talks Tuesday, a day after 18 inches of floodwaters devastated the neighborhood near North Port.
Mobile homes were destroyed throughout Holiday Park in North Port by Hurricane Ian.  
A roof wrapped around a palm tree on Tuesday from a home on Holiday Park Boulevard in North Port after Hurricane Ian ripped through Southwest Florida. The damage was apparent nearly a week after the storm moved through Sept. 28. 
Bob Menchaca, a six-year resident on Myakka Drive, talks about his the 18 inches of floodwaters that devastated his home near North Port after the destruction of Hurricane Ian. 
Myakka Drive near North Port after 18 inches of floodwaters devastated the neighborhood on Monday. The floods returned after Hurricane Ian hit the area Wednesday and Thursday initially.
Sunseeker Resort on Charlotte Harbor on Tuesday.
Myakka Drive near North Port after 18 inches of floodwaters devastated the neighborhood on Monday. The floods returned after Hurricane Ian hit the area Wednesday and Thursday initially.
Bob Menchaca, a six-year resident on Myakka Drive, talks about his the 18 inches of floodwaters that devastated his home near North Port after the destruction of Hurricane Ian. 
Mobile homes were destroyed throughout Holiday Park in North Port by Hurricane Ian.  

Bob Menchaca, a six-year resident on Myakka Drive, talks about the 18 inches of floodwaters that devastated his home near North Port after the destruction of Hurricane Ian.
Alicia Bonnett, a resident on Myakka Drive, talks Tuesday, a day after 18 inches of floodwaters devastated the neighborhood near North Port.
Mobile homes were destroyed throughout Holiday Park in North Port by Hurricane Ian.  
A roof wrapped around a palm tree on Tuesday from a home on Holiday Park Boulevard in North Port after Hurricane Ian ripped through Southwest Florida. The damage was apparent nearly a week after the storm moved through Sept. 28. 
Bob Menchaca, a six-year resident on Myakka Drive, talks about his the 18 inches of floodwaters that devastated his home near North Port after the destruction of Hurricane Ian. 
Myakka Drive near North Port after 18 inches of floodwaters devastated the neighborhood on Monday. The floods returned after Hurricane Ian hit the area Wednesday and Thursday initially.
Sunseeker Resort on Charlotte Harbor on Tuesday.
Myakka Drive near North Port after 18 inches of floodwaters devastated the neighborhood on Monday. The floods returned after Hurricane Ian hit the area Wednesday and Thursday initially.
Bob Menchaca, a six-year resident on Myakka Drive, talks about his the 18 inches of floodwaters that devastated his home near North Port after the destruction of Hurricane Ian. 
Mobile homes were destroyed throughout Holiday Park in North Port by Hurricane Ian.  
Residents continue to clean up nearly a week after Hurricane Ian tore up miles and miles of Southwest Florida.
At Holiday Park in North Port, an independent community with its own elected board, dozens of mobile homes were destroyed with few looking inhabitable.
Inside one, Eddie Cross, of Port Charlotte, assisted his friend, Nick Mihnovets while Mihnovets searched his parent’s winter residence for family heirlooms.
His parents, who are 90 and 94-years-old, are currently in Ohio.
“It’s just devastating,” Mihnovets said. “We haven’t had the heart to tell them yet.”
Cross stayed in Port Charlotte at his home with more than a dozen other people, he said. Folks who evacuated to his place.
In retrospect, he said, it was all a bad idea to not have everyone evacuate away from the area.
“Don’t stick around,” he said. “It was not worth it.”
One family staying with him lost their entire home.
“If they’d been there, they would have been killed,” Cross said.
Curbside refuse pickup is scheduled to resume on Wednesday in Charlotte County, another shift toward normalcy as recovery from Hurricane Ian continues.
County officials issued a news release Tuesday morning to announce the return of curbside collection service the following day.
Mini-transfer facilities and the landfill remain closed at this time.
Collection will pick up regular household solid waste, but not recycling, vegetation, or construction/demolition debris; the other kinds of refuse will not be collected until further notice.
“Before discarding refrigerators, remove all food items. Food being discarded should be bagged before going into solid waste bins,” the release read.
SHERIFF OFFICE PHONE LINE RESTORED
The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office announced on Tuesday that its administrative phone lines have been restored.
Non-emergency calls should be directed to (941) 639-2101, while emergency calls remain with 911.
“Please discontinue using any alternate numbers that were provided during Hurricane Ian,” a CCSO app alert stated.
TEMPORARY ROOF REPAIRS ARE VITAL
The signup period is currently open for Operation Blue Roof, which provides no-cost temporary repairs for roofs damaged by the storm. The program is available in Charlotte and Lee counties.
The program is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, tasked by FEMA.
A temporary blue covering with fiber-reinforced sheeting will be installed to help reduce further damage to property until permanent repairs can be made.
The signup period will continue until Oct. 23; residents can register online at Blueroof.us or call 888-766-3258.
A Right of Entry form, which gathers information about the residence, must be completed as part of the registration.
“The ROE is a legal document that allows Corps workers to access your property and assess your home’s damage,” the press release announcing the service read. “The ROE also allows contracted crews to install the tarp on your roof.”
The program is aimed to help people living in their primary residence or a permanently occupied rental property with less than 50 percent structural damage.
Vacation rental properties are not eligible for this program. Roofs that are flat, or made of metal or clay, slate, or asbestos tile, also do not qualify.
All storm debris must be removed from the roof to qualify.
Emergency Services Director Pat Fuller urged residents to focus on temporary roof repairs now, while weather is clear, before rain returns.

“We live in Florida. We’ll see rain again,” Fuller said on Tuesday.
According to current emergency regulations, certified and registered general, building and residential contractors are not required to subcontract roofing jobs in Charlotte County.
Structures with roof damage are not required to have a permit for tarping a roof and securing a structure; the same is true for roof damage that is less than 100 square feet.
Roofs with damage to rafters, trusses or structural elements will need a renovation permit obtained by a general, building, or residential contractor.
If the existing roof covering was installed before March 1, 2009 and more than 25% of the roof covering is damaged, the whole roof covering will need to be replaced.
If the existing roof covering was installed after the above date, the owner may elect to repair only the damaged area and not the whole roof.
Roofing permits may be obtained online at www.CharlottecountyFL.gov/permits or in the office by contractors registered with the County or as an owner-builder. Owner-builders must personally appear in person to obtain a permit according to Florida statutes.
WATER SERVICE ON, BOIL WATER IN EFFECT
The Charlotte County Utilities Department issued a press release on Tuesday, stating that all customers should have water service restored at this time. A boil water notice is currently in effect, and water pressure may be lower than normal; customers are asked to limit usage.
Anyone without water service is asked to contact Charlotte County Emergency Management at (941) 743-1320 or (941) 833-4000. Residents are also encouraged to call if there is a large amount of water coming out of the ground or there is a sewer backup.
“We are working on these requests as they come in,” the press release read.
Fuller noted that most of the floodwater in Charlotte County — largely the result of rainfall — has either evaporated or drained into safer areas, citing the National Weather Service. Monitoring of local waterways is continuing.
BUILDING INSPECTIONS RESUME
The county’s Community Development Department has had telephone service restored as of Tuesday afternoon. The Department will resume building inspections on Wednesday.
Inspections scheduled before the hurricane have been cancelled and will need to be rescheduled.
Before rescheduling those inspections, applicants should visit the job site to ensure it is ready. Many job sites have sustained damage and will need to be repaired before inspections are scheduled.
Inspections can be scheduled on the IVR system or online through the contractor portal. For information, applicants can contact the Department at 941-743-1201.
INSURANCE VILLAGE IN PORT CHARLOTTE
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and the state’s Department of Financial Services has set up an insurance village at the Port Charlotte Town Center Mall at 1441 Tamiami Trail.
Staff at the site will assist residents with insurance claims and other paperwork. The site is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Homeowners who need to speak with an insurance expert can also call 1-877-693-5236; the phone line operates from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Due to limited staffing, however, residents are still encouraged to visit the insurance village in person.
Those looking to file a complaint online can visit the DFS website (https://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Consumers/needourhelp.htm).
Citizens Insurance Corporation Policyholders are asked to visit www.citizensfla.com/claims to file a claim.
SEEKING VOLUNTEERS
The Charlotte County Volunteer Reception Center is currently recruiting volunteers to help with the disaster response.
The VRC is supported by the Charlotte County Community Organizations Active in a Disaster, known as COAD, and is for volunteers who are not affiliated with any organizations.
Residents interested in volunteering can register at the VRC, located at 227 Sullivan Street in Punta Gorda; volunteers will be assigned to an agency in need of personnel. The VRC is open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. daily.
Those already registered via COADFL.org will be contacted, and do not need to register again in person.
Donations of food and goods can be donated to the local St. Vincent de Paul Society, located at 25200 Airport Road and Punta Gorda.
Donations of cash can be made online at COADFL.org.

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