Water-Related News

Punta Gorda homeowners fear further erosion from Irma-damaged seawalls

Hurricane Irma damaged many seawalls in Punta Gorda and left homeowners fearing they’ll lose their home to the erosion.

Jim Lanza lives in the Punta Gorda Isles community. He is dealing with damaged seawalls.

“We have a problem that’s not being taken care of because there’s just so much to do,” said Lanza.

Lanza said one of his neighbors lost almost the entire seawall in front of their home.

“We’ve only got about 12 feet of land left," Lanza said. "And we’re losing a little bit every time."

To help address this issue Punta Gorda’s city council discussed boat speed enforcement in the canals. The say the wake left from boats is contributing to the erosion.

The city will add signage warning boaters of the issue, and extra law enforcement will patrol the waters.

The city manager also said more crews would be added to help with the canal's maintenance program. Residents who live on the canal pay for that maintenance.

That program is also stepping up its efforts by helping with temporary fixes like adding sand and dirt to the damaged wall before getting around to building them back up. That won't happen until at least early January.

If you’d like to pick up a sign to help warn boaters to slow down, visit the Punta Gorda's public works facility.