Water-Related News

Hurricane Irma's impact near Lee County's rural Bedman Creek troubles many in Alva

Many who live along Bedman Creek say life will never be the same.

Swollen by Hurricane Irma’s rain and runoff, the normally tranquil Caloosahatchee tributary surged out of its banks, swamping pastures and yards, swallowing septic fields, rolling through houses.

In one neighborhood in rural Alva, floodwaters rose several feet in a few hours, then didn't recede for days, ruining homes residents were never warned to evacuate.

“I kept watching the creek and it was just rising to the top, then all of a sudden, here comes the flood,” said resident Kent Cary who was out walking when the flood waters came. “It happened at 2:47 in the morning, and by 3:20 in the morning it was more than 5 feet deep here in my house … it was like swimming.”

Galled as they were by the governmental silence as the crisis unfolded, residents’ anger continues to smolder as the months pass with no communications from officials or answers about why the flooding happened as it did.