FEMA admits Fort Myers Beach trailer locked for weeks was delivered to wrong place

Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

The trailer that arrived on Fort Myers Beach on December 18 is now being removed by FEMA. It’s the first one that FEMA delivered to the island after Hurricane Ian.

FEMA said that they delivered the trailer to the wrong spot and are now taking away the trailer to move it to a new location.

WINK News spoke to the man who was hoping to get into the trailer and FEMA about the issue.

The FEMA representative who spoke with WINK News blamed the issue on miscommunication. The owner of the property the trailer was sitting on says he’s living a nightmare.

Since the trailer was delivered to Keith Szyperski’s property, he could only stare at it. He said he couldn’t get the key, “Because it isn’t certified for occupancy,” said Szyperski. “There are five different inspections that have to take place.”

For a while, the locked door was a metaphor. “I’m walking up my brand new steps, to my brand new home that I can’t get into,” Szyperski said.

Now, his brand new home will be taken away. Szyperski said FEMA called and told him they made a mistake. They delivered the wrong trailer to the wrong place.

“I was told that they delivered the wrong trailer, and that trailer should have gone somewhere else because they cannot put it in a flood zone. And they’re going to pick the trailer up sometime next week,” Szyperski said.

FEMA cannot legally put this kind of temporary housing at this location because it’s in a floodway.

“It was not the correct unit to be placed in that location. So it is going to be removed and replaced with the appropriate travel trailer. FEMA takes full responsibility for the unfortunate mishap. And we will take immediate action to correct it,” said FEMA Media Spokesperson Troy York.

Szyperski said he still respects the work that FEMA is doing, and is appreciative of any help that anyone gives him. “The first is always the trailblazer and where all the problems are worked out.”

Szyperski and his wife don’t know what’s next for them now that they don’t have a trailer to look forward to.

The mayor of Fort Myers Beach said he had no idea the trailer was sitting on the property for two weeks and not made liveable.

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