On Monday, the city of Cape Coral began the process of removing debris from its canals after Hurricane Ian.
First, the city tackles all canal debris that can be reached from land, such as fallen trees and other debris that sticks to the shore.
Tim Gorton has lived in Cape Coral for 54 years, but Hurricane Ian was unlike anything he’d ever seen. In the canal behind his house, you can see logs and branches floating in the water, but there are also junk like air conditioners. Gorton is relieved that Cape Coral will begin hauling hurricane debris out of its canals this week.
“There’s part of the dock here, and there’s a plan here, so people who want to go out can’t go. It’s very dangerous,” Gorton said. , we have the boat parts, let’s see what else there is…everything you can think of that will be on board the boat will be in the water right now.”
Outside the canal, 21,175 truckloads of hurricane debris have been cleared from streets across the city since debris collection began on Oct. 5, Cape Coral said.
“Look, my boat is just sitting here as part of someone’s pile,” said Gorton. “Sit on my dock, put the dock there. ”
90-year-old Bob Hafele said it’s not every day that you experience something new. He moved to Cape Coral 14 months before him, so Ian was his first hurricane.
“We were looking out the window and we saw the cage go down. We saw it go by and some trees fell down. I was a little scared to leave the window at times,” Hafere said.
Hafer got to see a second storm over the weekend, as subtropical storm Nicole is headed for Florida’s east coast.
“The crew may have to deal with some rain, but other than that we don’t expect any further damage,” said Cape Coral Solid Waste Manager Terry Schweitzer. .
This is encouraging as Cape Coral believes there are already 200,000 cubic yards of debris in the canal.
Schweitzer said his crew was in good shape but wouldn’t say no to neighbors who helped them.
“If there is a debit by a storm drain or sump, a resident or someone nearby can move it if the crew has not been there yet. Breaking up is difficult.
If anything, debris cleanup should be done more quickly. Schweiter believes it will take him six months to clear the canal.
If you find debris in the canal, you can call 311. That way, the city can map out where the debris is so crew members know where to look.
A spokesperson for Cape Coral says that once the coastline has been cleared, the city will bring in barges at a later date to pick up anything that may be at the bottom of the canal.