Dealing with tropical storm damage, avoiding post-storm scams

Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
A lanai damaged after Tropical Storm Elsa. Credit: WINK News

The National Weather Service is assessing the damage in Cape Coral along Nautilus Drive, south of the Cape Coral Bridge, which some families believe was a water spout.

In an incredible video from Wednesday, you can see a docked boat suddenly go flying off the dock. It demonstrates just how much damage can be done, even with a tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane. The homeowner, Jeremy Mader, realized something wasn’t quite right when he watched the security footage

“When I pulled the camera up, I happened to notice there was something missing there,” Mader said. “It took me a few minutes to figure out what was different. And yeah, quickly realized the boat was gone. And just rewound back through the footage. And just before 3 o’clock in the morning, you could see this kind of grainy video and the wind and rain just turned sideways. You could see the front of the boat just go flying up into the air. Flipped it upside down, drifted away.”

If you are dealing with damage today, there are three things you have to watch out for in order to avoid scams:

  • Contact your insurance company first. Ask what is included. Damage to your roof is likely part of your coverage. But damage to your lanai screens, depending on your policy, is not.
  • Vet the business. You can do this by going to the state Department of Businesess and Professional Regulation website. You just click “verify a license” and type in the business name. Also consult this website.
  • Watch any vendor going door-to-door. Make sure if someone does come to your door, tell them “Hey, show me proof that you are licensed,” and if they can’t do that, ask them to please go away.

Before you hire a repair or tree service company, make sure you get three written, itemized estimates. Remember, you can always get a water quality test from the Department of Health, just call (850) 966-7226.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.