Algae smell forcing families out of their home

Neighbors are escaping to the beach to get away from the smell of that blue-green algae covering Southwest Florida’s waterways.

One man said tonight it was so bad inside his house, he packed up his belongings and found a place to rent on the beach.

MORE: Algae blooms across SWFL leave residents wondering if tap water is safe to drink

“It’s bad,” said North Fort Myers resident Ed Kreise. “It takes your breath away, and now its permeating into the houses.”

Kreise said his family woke up this morning on Orange Grove Boulevard to the suffocating smell of blue-green algae.

MORE: ‘We don’t know what’s in the water’: algae blooms cover SWFL waterways

“My daughter went to the doctor this morning, they put her on steroids,” Kreise said. “They said her throats closed, she’s having an allergic reaction.”

Kreise says as a retired firefighter, he has spent years breathing in heavy smoke. But, nothing compares to the smell of algae.

“I’m disgusted, I have to leave my house. For what? Sugarcane has to run business?” Kreise said.

In an updated red tide map, nearly all the red tide has cleared off our coast, with only small amounts in northern Lee County, Charlotte County and Marco Island.

MORE: ‘It’s not safe’: combination of red tide & algae frustrating SWFL

The Calusa Waterkeeper says winds, the current and the temporary pause of Lake Okeechobee releases could be what’s helping to clear it up.

But water experts explain that this doesn’t mean the red tide is gone for good, especially with the Lake O releases likely starting up again this week.

But for Kreise, he says that until the river by his house is back to normal, he’s not going home.

“I don’t have a set time to go back and nobody should leave like this, but nobody’s doing anything,” Kreise said.

MORE: ‘You can smell it in the air’: Red tide & algae spread through SWFL

Writer:Emily Ford