Pools of rain collecting on a roof with no way of draining.
Hurricane Ian damaged the roof at the Parkway Condominiums in North Fort Myers, and now, with the rainy season, the apartments are getting water damage.
Rayetta Schwering and her husband bought a condo on the fifth floor of this building during COVID.
It was a dream of theirs to live here.
And their unit was mostly spared during Ian but more than eight months later, this is what they’re now dealing with.
Rayetta said Ian damaged the building’s roof.
And without a replacement, she fears this water damage will only get worse during the rainy season.
For some people, the rain is soothing, relaxing.
“Every time it gets dark, I get like chest pains,” Schwering said. “I’m like, ‘Oh, my gosh!'”
But for Schwering, it’s a nightmare.
“It’s like I’m going backwards,” Schwering said. “I now have more damage than when Ian hit.”
Schwering’s condo is just two floors below a large pool of water collecting on the flat roof of her building.
“If you don’t have a roof and it rains, you know, you’re going to have damage,” Schwering said.
While she and the other families who live here wait for a new roof, Schwering said the water is seeping down into the units below.
“They’ve had the roofing company come and do temporary, but obviously the temporary isn’t working because now I have a different leak now coming in the master bedroom,” Schwering said.
Heavy rain on Wednesday caused another leak in her bedroom. It’s why she now has buckets on stand by and fans running constantly.
“To sit and watch your home be damaged, and you can do nothing, is unbelievable,” Schwering said.
Schwering said the property management company had told residents they’ve done everything they can do, and now it’s up to the county to approve the permits.
“If it is a county issue, that is very big, and that is unacceptable,” Schwering said.
While Schwering now worries her condo will sustain even more damage with each passing storm, we reached out to Lee County.
They explained that in the first eight months after Ian, they’ve issued more than 61,000 permits.
Given the sheer volume of demand, the county said they are working to get back to normal processing times for permits, now issuing close to 500 permits daily.
“I can’t watch another destruction because we don’t have a roof and no timeframe of getting a roof,” Schwering said.
“I’m at my wit’s end,” Schwering said.
WINK News reached out the Lee County to get some more information; their response is below.
Lee County Community Development is working diligently to get back to normal processing times for permits, given the sheer level of demand. From Oct. 1, 2022 through May 26, 2023, the department has issued 61,122 permits. The department issues about 500 permits daily, which is more than double the rate as in January. To increase permitting capacity, employees from other county departments are on loan to Community Development, as are professionals from other jurisdictions and temporary employees. Earlier this year, the Board of County Commissioners authorized a mid-year budget adjustment so Community Development could hire 11 new positions, 6 Building Inspectors and 5 Customer Service Representatives in our Permitting section.