Several Sun Communities RV resorts struggling to recover without power

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

RV resort after RV resort is left without power and water for months after Hurricane Ian.

WINK News has learned that at least three properties owned by Sun Communities are without utilities. This came to light after our story on the Indian Creek RV Resort.

The Siesta Bay RV Resort and another face the same issue as Indian Creek.

Multiple people have told WINK News that they feel left in the dark, just like their entire community of homes, which still does not have power.

Sun Communities said each individual lot has its own power pedestal, and each one has to be replaced because of the storm at several of their locations.

People told us about the roadblocks they’re facing as they rebuild, while others explained why they’re choosing to give it all up.

Desiree Megrant’s van. (Credit: WINK News)

For months after the storm, this is where Desiree Megrant lived.

“This van was home for me. She left and went back to Illinois. She just, you know, there was no room for both of us in here,” said Megrant.

She and her wife, Deedee, own a home in Siesta Bay RV Resort.

“Never owned a home in my life, always rented. And so, this being my first home, my dream place. I’ve always wanted to be in Florida,” said Deedee Minard.

They just purchased it two years ago, then Ian hit.

“We still can’t stay overnight at Siesta Bay. So, while we’re doing work, we can’t just, you know, lay our head down there. You know, so we have to be somewhere else,” Megrant said.

Sun Communities signs. (Credit: WINK News)

There are signs telling residents when they can be in their communities in front of Siesta Bay RV Resort, The Groves RV Resort, and Indian Creek RV Resort.

Minard says sun communities give updates through zoom, but she’s left with more questions than answers.

“Why are they not saying, ‘there’s not going to be any lot rent until we open. We’re not sure of the date,” said Minard. “They keep pushing back the time.”

They want to know when the power is coming back on and when they can move back in.

“They’ve also been telling folks that it’s going to be next month or the next month or the next month that the place is going to be open,” said Jason Ingream.

Ingream is the owner of Mango Ritas. He also owns a home in Siesta Bay RV Resort, where his father-in-law would stay.

“The day after the storm, we saw that our restaurant was gone. The next place that we headed to was over to the trailer to see what damage was done there,” Ingream said.

Ingream said the community told residents they could hand over the title of their homes and Sun Communities would pay the costs of demolishing it. It’s something he’s reluctantly considering.

“To hand in a title to something that maybe that was your dream to come to the beach and have a place near the beach, it’s a daunting thing to think that you’re getting ready to hand that over. Something you paid a lot of money for, to hand it over for free,” said Ingream.

WINK News asked Sun Communities when residents could expect power to be restored. They said:

The same situation applies to those locations. Replacing the entire electrical infrastructure and all pedestals of a community with hundreds of sites requires a significant amount of resources, coordination and time. We have dedicated teams working round the clock to bring them back online. The Groves will be the first to come back online and we hope to have power restored in the next 60 days.

We also asked them if they have ordered the power pedestals that must be repaired or replaced in the various communities. Sun Communities said:

Yes it is. Orders were placed soon after the hurricane but we’ve had to source pedestals from a number of manufacturers from around the US due to limited availability. In some cases, we’ve had to source individual components of the pedestals and assemble ourselves. As we receive shipments, we work with our construction crews to install at each site then connect them to transformers throughout the community. Once complete, we will work with FPL to reenergize the community.

We also hold recurring town hall meetings and send regular communications to all residents. We provide status updates, construction progress, timelines and answer any questions they may have. We encourage all our residents to attend, check their emails and speak to the resort managers so they stay up to date.

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