‘Rick on the Roof’ will keep his garage after lengthy FEMA protest

Writer: Nicholas Karsen
Published: Updated:

The Town of Fort Myers Beach has allowed Rick Loughery to keep his garage after his tireless protest against new FEMA regulations.

The town had initially ruled that his garage was an accessory structure to his home that got destroyed and had to be torn down, according to FEMA regulations.

The state, however, is making an exception, provided Rick gets all the right permits. The mayor of Fort Myers Beach told WINK News the town will start making exceptions for people on a case-by-case basis.

“They deserve a lot of praise, you know, for what they’re doing. It’s gonna take some work to get to where we’re all comfortable and happy,” Loughery, who came to be known as Rick on the Roof during days of news coverage. “But we’ve got a great council that’s willing to work hard to make that happen, and that’s what’s important.”

“I think through some compromise and some communication, we were able to come to a good compromise between the state, FEMA, ourselves and Rick and Amy,” said Dan Allers, the mayor of Fort Myers Beach.

The state floodplain manager took a second look at the structure and changed course.

“They took a second look at it, which we appreciate,” said Allers. “They gave us a few options, and like I said, through some compromise, we were able to come up with something that they get to keep their garage, and we get to keep another resident.”

Loughery will get to keep his garage, on some conditions.

“We have a couple things to do,” Loughery said. “We have to get a variance in order to keep it in front of the house and a couple things as far as the building, but other than that, we’ll work it out. We’ll make it work.”

Loughery spent 130 hours sleeping, eating and living on the roof of his garage. He had signs outside of his house that said he survived Ian… but not town staff.

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