People in Buckingham know firsthand the flooding aftermath from Hurricane Irma.
Skip Ruck, who lives in Buckingham, said he saw the intensity of the storm. While lots of people worry about hurricane-force winds, Irma taught Ruck to fear the water. Flooding overwhelmed his Buckingham neighborhood.
“A lot of loss,” Ruck said. “A lot of equipment with water damage.”
Ruck lost power for two weeks. He got to his home by boat. To this day, Ruck blames the Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District for his past woes.
“They have water shortage problems in the dry season for water wells,” Ruck said. “In my opinion, they held it all back.”
For almost two weeks, Ruck said the water sat there and at a high cost. Ruck did not have flood insurance. In the 40 years he lived there, he never experienced a flood. It cost him around $170,000 in out-of-pocket costs.
WINK News reached out to Lee County who said it is doing everything it can to prevent flooding, especially in Buckingham. So far, it has prepared drainage systems and is on Phase 3 of its flooding mitigation project.
Ruck told us that since Irma, he has seen much work done. He would rather not see Hurricane Dorian test whether the changes have fixed the problems.
“The wind and all, the trees falling over – we can deal with all of that,” Ruck said. “But the flooding is something very, very, very, heartbreaking.”