Rick on the Roof comes down after nearly a week of protesting

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It has been six days since beginning his protest, and Rick Loughery, now known as “Rick on the Roof,” ended his arduous campaign of sitting on his garage roof.

Loughery’s mission was to save his garage from the new FEMA regulations implemented, as the building is not up to current codes.

Aug. 7 was an important day for Rick, as the town held a council meeting where members spoke about Rick.

Amy Lughery, Rick’s wife, spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting and apologized to the mayor and council for all the additional work they have endured because of their garage.

The council and mayor said they fully support Rick and Amy but are powerless to help. FEMA makes the rules. Those rules, the mayor said, are constantly changing.

But FEMA didn’t contact Rick by the end of the day.

“FEMA never called today, never texted us, never let us know anything,” Rick said. “So we didn’t hear anything from them. The town council meeting went by where they really didn’t make any actions or moves on it.”

FEMA has said the garage must either be torn down or changed to fit current hurricane standards.

Amy said she and Rick are overwhelmed by all the support from both locals and visitors to the point that Rick feels so supported he could stay on the roof for a lifetime if he has to.

“Our sincere apology for taking away from your valuable time, could be towards other islanders’ issues and permits,” she said, “never anticipated challenges, answers seven months ago. Furthermore, in a million years, I would have never thought my husband would be on top of the roof 24/7 for six days. I just hope we get an answer either way. Now, in my heart, I feel 95% sure they will say no. I have the 5% hope we like to have someone else besides one person within the town telling us that’s definitely their answer,” said Amy. “If they say no, will Rick stay out there? No, Rick will come down, and we will start process with demoing the garage and a house plan.”

This is more than a building to him. He said the garage saved his life during Hurricane Ian.
FEMA has plans to meet Rick about the unusual situation.

A Fort Myers Beach spokesperson mentioned that Rick could convert the surviving garage into a standalone structure for storage and parking only. A new single-family home can be built with the garage connected to the home. The building must meet floodplain regulations and building codes.

However, that was not good enough for Rick. He decided to continue his protest.

Rick told WINK about the overwhelming amount of support he’s getting from the community.

“Oh, my gosh, I cannot tell you how much we thank everyone for their support in the last five days. I have never seen a community step up like this and deliver things and stop by to tell me their story,” Loughery said.

A representative from Governor DeSantis’ office plans to meet with Rick and Amy Tuesday morning. Rick is adamant that this fight is far from over.

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