Residents go 3 days without clean water at a Punta Gorda community

Reporter: Taylor Wirtz Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

Three days. That’s how long at least 70 families in a 55 and up community in Punta Gorda have gone without water.

And this isn’t the first time it has happened at the Shell Creek RV park.

The people here are feeling forgotten about. They said they’ve been without water off and on—mostly off—since Friday. They can’t go to the bathroom; they can’t wash dishes. When the water is on, it often isn’t drinkable.

“You got people 80 years old, going down to Shell Creek fighting the gators in the boat ramp which gets slippery, to get enough water to come back and flush the toilets,” said Diann Jenner, Shell Creek resident.

Neighbors like Jenner said that the water has been almost completely off since Friday. And when it is on, it’s a trickle at best, and not safe to drink. This routine has been going on for years.

“I’ve lived here three years, and it’s been off and on,” Jenner said. “Practically every week, every couple of weeks, it’s out maybe only for an hour or maybe out for day, you know, and then you have to boil it.”

In a 55 and up community like Shell Creek, many aren’t able to haul buckets from the creek just to flush their toilets.

“I feel like I’m living in a third world country,” Jenner said.

Residents said management seems to be doing all they can, but they said the company that owns Shell Creek—Sun Outdoors based in Michigan—seems to be reactive rather than proactive to the water issues.

“It seems like they’re putting a band aid over it, instead of fixing the problem,” said David Deluca, Shell Creek resident.

“It’s just out of hand, and this should have been fixed a long time ago,” said Mario Poletti, Shell Creek resident.

Shell Creek management declined an interview, but neighbors here believe their office is doing everything they can on their part. They say it’s Sun Outdoors who needs to step up.

To assist those living in the RV Park, the City Utilities Department has set up a temporary water distribution point across the street from the water plant, off of Washington Loop Road. This can be used to fill up their water jugs to access water for basic needs.

For more information, you can contact the Water Treatment Plant at 941-639-2057.

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