NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. - Neighbors in North Fort Myers say getting around is a little bit easier now. On Tuesday, it was a different story. People saw flooded roads, stranded farm animals and yards that looked more like lakes.
County officials declared a state of emergency, allowing county funds to be used to fix some roads, so that Wednesday, they could get to work.
"State of Emergency allows us to address access issues on some of the the private roads to ensure that we can maintain a level of public safety," Bayshore Fire Chief Larry Nisbet said. "So, if a fire breaks out or there's a medical call, we have the ability to get to those locations."
Crews spent the day spreading gravel on Wellborn and Skipper Roads. It was welcome surprise for Troy Nilsson and Kirsten Polly, who rely on Wellborn to get home. "It's lot better," Nilsson said.
"It doesn't like a canal anymore, that's for sure. It looked like a canal. There were fish on the road," Polly said. "Yesterday, the water was almost coming in."
Roger Horton, a retired ship captain who lives on Clubhouse Road, south of all the flooding, has his own theory of what could alleviate the problem.
"This is Daughtry's Creek," he said pointed at a closed-off bridge. "Years ago, when they developed this, they got a bunch of things ready to build and it never happened."
Left behind was a structure he calls a "bridge to nowhere." Horton believes getting rid of the bridge could keep the water moving toward the gulf. "You can see back behind there, there's a bridge and that's actually a choke point," Horton said. "The channel is filling up with more silt every year and the mangroves are growing out on it. When it backs up, what's on the other side of the bridge, it can't release enough, so they're the ones that have the problem, not me."
The Departments of Transportation and Natural Resources are checking into Horton's bridge concerns.
While some North Fort Myers roads have improved, people who live nearby say they're still underwater, and that some have even been forced to move out.