A Cape Coral woman has an unwanted intruder in her backyard, but it isn’t a person. It is a barge. The massive structure washed up into her yard during Hurricane Ian and has been sitting there for more than 90 days.
It is the time of year when people return the holiday gifts they received but don’t want. Beth Madl wants to make a return of her own, the massive barge that is filling up her property.
The question is, who is in charge of the large barge?
“We couldn’t even hardly come out here. It was wrecked,” said Madl.
The large barge in Madl’s yard almost charged into her house during the storm.
“During the hurricane, my husband and I stayed at our house. And we saw this barge coming around or down the canal,” Madl said. “Praying to God that it didn’t take out that into the house because we knew then the water would start rushing in.”
Madl and her husband prepared for the worst, but somehow the barge stopped two feet from her house.
“Thank you, God. Thank you for keeping us safe,” said Madl.
Since the storm, the barge has just sat in her yard. “We have not gotten any results about getting it out of here.”
WINK News tracked down the man in charge f the barge and sent him a text asking when he would remove it. He said, “It’s pretty simple. A natural disaster happened, and no one has availability to get it yet.” Then he added, “It’ll be getting moved in two weeks.”
That is music to Michelle Ward’s ears. Ward’s house is on the other side of the barge.
Madl has got a message for the guy who didn’t secure his barge. “You need to own up to your responsibility and take care of this. It damaged our seawall that needs to be repaired. Just own up to your responsibilities. You’re a business owner. What’s that going to say about you? In the future doing business with people here in this area? I doubt they’re gonna want to do business with you.”
Madl and Mard said WINK’s brief text exchange was the first time they’ve gotten any information from the barge owner since the hurricane.
WINK News asked him if he would pay for the damages to Madl’s seawall and the neighbor’s boats from when the barge crashed into them. He did not respond.