SWFL feeling effects of blue-green algae; similar to east coast 2016 issue

Published: Updated:
via David Webster

Peter Formica has walked out of his condo at Clipper Bay to the sight and smell of blue-green algae.

Formica compared the stench to “rotten trash, it almost makes you nauseous.”

The pollution triggered a state of emergency in several counties, but residents living on the east coast experienced a similar situation two years ago.

“It is a horrible, horrible situation,” said Mary Radavaugh in a previous 2016 interview with WINK News.

WINK News spoke to Radavaugh, who lives on the east coast, in June 2016 when the toxic blue-green algae in the St. Lucie River took over the water at Central Marina.

“My guys aren’t just wearing masks, they’re wearing respirator masks,” Radavaugh said in a previous 2016 interview with WINK News.

Radavaugh told WINK News she’s seen images this year from the west coast and said it looks even worse than before.

“it is a horrible thing to experience, the smell, like I said it’s like death 100 times over,” Radavaugh said.

It begs the question: How much longer will it sit and can anything more be done to get rid of it?

“It can’t be here for another month, people will start leaving this place,” Formica said.

Formica wondered if he should take things into his own hands by “grab(bing) my shovel and … picking it up myself.”

However, Radavaugh cautioned against it.

“It’s toxic and it concerns me for the people that live there,” Radavaugh said.

Radavaugh added it’ll take time.

“I think it’s a matter of waiting it out,” Radavaugh said. “If they had a way to do it I think D.E.P would have hired someone to do it.”

Radavaugh said it took more than a month for the algae in 2016 to completely clear up.

With the flow of water from Lake Okeechobee stopped for now, Cape Coral residents said they hope it doesn’t worsen, but do not see it getting better anytime soon.

WINK News reporter Nicole Valdes caught up with Radavaugh two years later. Watch the full segment below:

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