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WINK News helps SWFL neighbor get pool project moving again

A neighbor in Southwest Florida says, one day, he was looking forward to a pool, and, the next, his plan came to a halt. Crews found power lines underground during construction. We spoke to the homeowner and were able to help.

William Dewes was set to have a pool installed at his home, but pool builders hit a snag when they found power lines in his backyard that belonged to Florida Power & Light underground.

“It’s been a real nightmare,” Dewes said.

Having a backyard pool, especially during the pandemic, sounded like a great idea to Dewes.

“That’s the way I looked at it,” Dewes said. “Things were getting kind of boring, couldn’t do anything, couldn’t go anywhere.”

Instead, Dewes became stuck with a big dug-up hole in his yard.

He got the green light to begin construction from FPL months ago after no underground power lines were detected. But it quickly turned to a red light when they did turn up.

“They said, ‘OK, we gotta send it to the planning board,’” Dewes said. “’The planning board’s gotta schedule it. We’ll get back to you.’”

Two main lines showed up right through the middle of the yard.

“So they called me back about a week later and said, ‘It’ going to be a week to ten days, maybe two weeks,’” Dewes said.

But days turned into nearly two months. With all the rain, the walls of the hole have been caving in… Making Dewes worry about the foundation of his home.

“It’s washed away right up to the house right now,” Dewes said. “So it keeps washing away. The house is going to start leaning towards the hole.”

That’s when he decided to call WINK News. He reached out to us, and we reached out to FPL. In a couple hours, we got a response and so did Dewes.

FPL rearranged its schedule, so crews could be at Dewes’ home next week. Dewes and FPL say the delay was not because of the coronavirus.

FPL says these kinds of projects typically take up to two and a half months to complete. When the company realized there was an issue, it told us it would rearrange schedules to get the problem fixed.

“It makes me think that, put a little fire underneath them, Figured they had to get going, get something done,” Dewes said.

Reporter:Justin Kase
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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