Blue-green algae plagues woman living in Iona

Reporter: Gail Levy
Published: Updated:
The water crisis is affecting a woman’s time outdoors after a year of social distancing. (CREDIT: WINK News)

When Micki Suzanne moved to Florida 15 years ago, she expected clear skies and clear water.

“I moved down here for my health. I have Lyme disease and I could not endure the cold weather in Michigan,” Suzanne said. “It made my symptoms unbearable.”

Suzanne hoped to feel the healing power of the sun, sand and water but it’s not always that way.

But now, Suzanne is wondering what to do after losing her job to the pandemic and living next to nature that feels like a wasteland instead of paradise.

“We’ve got the seniors, we’ve got the families and it seems like we’re paying the price of being too quiet,” Suzanne said. “Nobody’s listening, nobody’s hearing us, maybe we need to yell it from the rooftops, but we need help.”

Help to deal with the toxic blue-green algae.

“I am angry,” Suzanne said.

The algae is obvious at the Franklin Lock, the Davis and Alva boat ramps. And while she can’t see the green gunk in Iona where she lives, Suzanne said she feels the effects.

“I get headaches, coughing, dizziness,” Suzanne said. “In fact, this morning my older dog is coughing so much she’s squeaking. So she has to be out even less which is a problem.”

Now that COVID has kept her from being employed, going outside and made her wear a mask for a year, Suzanne has to continue wearing a mask if she wants to be outdoors.

“I told people you don’t come to Florida for anything else but the nature because it’s the only thing that keeps you, but when we see nature dying it’s just heartbreaking,” she said.

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