Port Charlotte Live Oak Park still in need of repairs after Hurricane Irma

Published: March 22, 2019 5:57 PM EDT
Updated: March 22, 2019 8:04 PM EDT

Recovery after a hurricane is a long one, and signs of damage left by Irma are still noticeable in Charlotte County.

One man says he doesn’t visit Live Oak Park in Port Charlotte as often as he used to because there are safety concerns, with several spots people can’t walk on.

Life is a walk in the park for Patrick Murphy and his dog buddy who live four blocks from the park, “There’s always a nice breeze here. It’s just a beautiful little park”

They visit Live Oak Park twice a day, but the scenery hasn’t been as nice since Hurricane Irma made its mark in September 2017.

“It washed out the sidewalk near the playground where the kids can fall in it,” Murphy  said. “And they keep putting the orange net up but it keeps falling down”

Charlotte County blames the storm for also damaging the north fishing pier and footbridge.

The county made fixes to the shoreline immediately and now must spend another $700-thousand to fix the park, and nearby Live Oak Point.

Park-goers want to see those repairs sooner than later.

“The construction has been going on here for quite some time.” said Ron, who also visits park daily.

They say they want the park to get back to normal — barricade and net free.

FEMA did approve the project in September 2018, but the county tells me it didn’t hire a contractor until a few months ago.

Charlotte’s parks and recreation team says the county will request full reimbursement from FEMA once the project is complete, but may have to dip into taxpayer money.