Southwest Florida family cited for not removing Hurricane Ian debris

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

Lee County has cited a family in Morse Shores for not removing debris from Hurricane Ian, despite consistent efforts.

“So we actually have an almost completed wall, which is super exciting,” said homeowner Shelby Genest.

Genest and her life partner Darren Nolff rode out the storm in their home, where the water rose until they were forced into the attic.

According to Nolff, the water rose to just underneath their kitchen outlets.

Darren and Shelby have made a lot of progress since Ian, but that work earned him this citation from Lee County, asking them to eliminate a “nuisance accumulation” or debris in their yard.

“It’s a bit of a stab in the heart when you’re, you’re doing your best to find some sense of normal and live in a house that barely has walls,” said Nolff.

Shelby and Darren said that their citation was issued on May 2. They didn’t find out about it until around May 6.

And at that point, they had already hauled away all of their drywall debris into a trailer and took it to the dump.

There is more debris next to them, but it belongs to their neighbors, who have been out of town since the storm. So now, they’re making it their mission to help them out.

“We have been attempting to contact people spending more than two hours on hold, and we still just don’t have that answer of who to contact and how do we fix this,” Genest said.

Currently, Lee County isn’t picking up debris anymore, so now the family has called Waste Pro, hoping they’ll come and solve what they call this debris debacle.

The best advice if you get a similar citation in Lee County? Reach out to code enforcement.

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