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Post-Irma: Neighbor helping neighbor

September 15, 2017
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Irma's impact on our community was less than expected - thank God - but Cape Coral did not escape unscathed.

While private damage was mostly limited to an overwhelming number of fallen trees, branches and signs, some of our neighbors did lose screen panels as well incur harm to roofs, fences and the like.

On the infrastructure side, things were not as good.

More than 43,800 Cape Coral residents and businesses were among the 217,800 left without power in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Thanks to the more than 500 contractors LCEC has pulled from around the country, restoration efforts are progressing quickly but more than 13,368 of our neighbors in the Cape were among the 35 percent of co-op customers still without power Thursday evening.

Still it could have been much worse - much worse. We could have been Marco Island had Irma not jogged east and made landfall as a category 4 storm further south than projected.

As it was, the Cape felt the effects of category 2 strength winds and virtually no storm surge, meaning little to no flood damage.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the storm, local businesses, residents and other volunteers aplenty joined the restoration army led by LCEC, first responders, and public employees by the thousands from city, county, state and federal agencies.

National Guard soldiers and airmen distributed food and water, volunteers across the spectrum offered free food to those in need of a hot meal, neighbors lent generators and offered a place to weather the outages or sleep in comfort and businesses opened their doors to provide essentials.

Many, many individuals, including city police, fire and other personnel as well as health care professionals, linemen, and shelter workers and volunteers worked round the clock although they, too, had family who needed them, homes to protect or clean up.

It is in times like this that we can appreciate the strength of the institutions and people who make Cape Coral a good place to live, bring up a family and operate a business.

In times of crisis, it's neighbor helping neighbor.

Thank you to those who stepped up.

Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

- Breeze editorial



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