Hurricane Irma Was Huge But Here Are 9 Ways Naples Has Recovered

Written By Kenneth Wilson  |  0 Comments

I have never experienced a hurricane like Hurricane Irma before. She was the most powerful hurricane ever experienced in our part of the world and it was beyond terrifying. Of course, we were brilliantly prepared and I must say, I’ve never seen so many American people come together so brilliantly before.

Naples got a direct hit. Apart from trees being uprooted, signposts flying around and cars being thrown on top of one another, there was no electricity, no running water, and all the phone lines were down. People were prepared and everyone had stockpiles of water, food, and batteries, but still, it was tough going. And of course, the hurricane damage in Naples, Florida, was huge.

It’s taken a while to recover too. My heart really went out to people who were in the middle of building their homes, renovating their homes or moving home. It was not a time to be ‘caught’, but – the weather is the weather. I was blessed that I had finished my building and that all my hurricane finishes were in place.

So, how has Naples recovered from Hurricane Irma?

1. Residents were proactive.

As soon as it was safe to go outside, residents got to work. And that means all residents. Neighbors worked side by side, kids got involved, we all did what we could. People swept, people mopped and people collected debris.

There was one extraordinary man who used a chainsaw to break down fallen trees. There was no waiting to ‘be saved’ even though help was on its way. Everyone did their bit. Their priority was to sort out the hurricane damage in Naples, Florida.

2. Horticultural debris was cleared.

There was an unspoken agreement to deal with horticultural debris quickly. Everyone piled up at the shrubs, leaves, and trees to the right-of-way.

The people knew it was important to get the streets cleared and for the floodwaters to start draining away. Debris was piled up, not in bags, as it is easier to be taken away like this.

3. The Naples City Council worked quickly.

Naples City Council got their trucks on the roads as soon as they could, collecting any and all debris. It is astonishing what a hurricane of this force can do and therefore astonishing what we all found in the streets. Carpets, chairs, furnishings, suitcases, dolls, and paintings were found.

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When there was no obvious owner and serious damage, this was all cleared away. There were many roof tiles too, which brings us to the discussion of which roof tiles to use in Florida. (see previous blogs)

4. Stormwater drains were cleared.

This was done as much as possible before the hurricane and then again as soon after. Motorists were warned to drive very carefully as debris kept collecting, especially when it couldn’t go down a drain.

Keeping stormwater drains clear is vital, and as a homeowner, you may want to go outside right now and check yours. I know I’m going to.

5. Power was restored as soon as possible.

This took a lot of time. Power lines were damaged in Naples and the surrounding areas and power plants were severely damaged. Getting power back up is vital but it also has to be at a safe time. Naples had to wait for flood waters to recede – in some areas this took longer than others – and restoring power was a huge job. Power was mostly restored within a few days but work still had to be done on repairing structural damage. Hurricane damage in Florida, Naples, was big, and power was needed to help the recovery process.

6. Street signs repaired.

Almost all the street signs that were damaged have been repaired. Signs, both decorative and informative, were damaged, and there was hardly a single sign that did not get damaged.

The signs have been straightened and/or replaced. This hurricane brought huge awareness too. People knew not to go outside and nobody did. Except for a couple of mad journalists!

7. Mop, dry, mop, dry.

Homeowners who had evacuated and taken shelter elsewhere were mostly able to return to their homes within a few days. They had a huge task ahead of them, mopping, wringing out and drying.

Once again, it was amazing to see a community come together and help one another. It was also a time of realizing why wooden floors are not a great idea because of water damage! I have learned a lot about home building in a state that does have a hurricane season.

8. Claiming insurance.

Most homeowners have insurance and this also includes flood damage insurance. Insurance companies were busy and are still busy, taking inventory, paying out claims, helping where they can.

Insurance is a huge business and many people resent paying their monthly fees which can be high, but at the end of the day, it’s a huge relief to have it.

9. Recovery was pretty impressive.

Most facilities that had closed down, and tourist attractions, reopened in early October. Schools opened again quickly, as did places of worship, shops, and malls. The Florida Keys were hard hit but back to business around the 1st of October.

There’s not much that can keep the state of Florida down. Yes, we have hurricanes and yes they can be exceptionally frightening and damaging. We also have an excellent emergency service and they did us all proud. Naples, which really took the eye of the storm, was battered and bruised but has recovered well and quickly.

Thinking of moving to Florida? Retiring here? Or spending the warm winter months here? Do it. I did and I really made the right decisions, even with the hurricanes.

About the Author

I can build it, and I can help you get the patio enclosure you want! I got my start in the Florida patio industry back in the 70s as a young general laborer looking for something to make a few bucks. At the time I never thought it would end up as my career. Over the years I grew beyond the laborer position, becoming a foreman, superintendent, and then into executive management for some of the largest patio contractors, and material vendors. Now into retirement and slightly bored, I offer consulting services to new and existing contractors, and publish this website to help the people who love their patio's and screen enclosures the most - YOU!

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