‘It’s sticking together’: Friends help each other as water crisis plagues SWFL

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Two families are relying on each other as the water quality crisis impacts much of Southwest Florida.

It’s an unlikely bond formed by water.

Becki Weber owns vacation rental property on Fort Myers Beach, and Joanne Kreise, of North Fort Myers, was forced out to the beach because of the algae in her backyard.

MORE: Business Damage Assessment survey for residents affected by algae

“This was our dream home … I guess a little bit of a nightmare right now,” Kreise said.

The two know each other from New Jersey, but thanks to the water emergencies in Southwest Florida, they need each other now more than ever.

Red tide on the beach means Weber’s vacation rentals aren’t renting. The street is quiet and the pool is empty.

“We’re cleaning out our savings to support ourselves now because we don’t have any income at all,” Weber said.

So inside, in exchange for a safe place away from the algae, Kreise and her husband are doing what they can.

“I don’t really know it’s really the words to put to constantly feeling like you’re homeless but at the same time you have a home but you can’t go back there,” Kreise said.

It’s a barter really, but in the midst of separate water issues —red tide and toxic algae— the two find common ground.

MORE: Algae outbreak forces North Fort Myers family out of their home

“We’re fortunate we are very fortunate don’t get me wrong we are so fortunate to have our friends here,” Kreise said.

“It’s sticking together, it’s helping each other out,” Weber said.

Weber said with all of the cancellations and people not signing up for rentals on the beach, they’re down $25,000 to $30,000.

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