Photos by Steve Stefanides
Hurricane Irma slammed into Marco Island last Sunday and left behind serious damage to the island and surrounding communities. It was a visit one week from that fateful day which saw Governor Rick Scott come together with islanders to pray with residents at the Family Church on Winterberry Drive. Governor Scott vowed to work with Floridians throughout the state to help rebuild their communities and provide assistance to local municipalities and counties in that effort.
“The mere presence of the governor this morning provided a boost in the spirits of those in his presence. I think it’s wonderful that Governor Scott came forward today to reach out to the area and show his support,” said Councilman Howard Reed. Reed was present at both the church and at his motorcade tour of the island, which stopped at Villa De Marco West Condominiums.
The buildings at the end of Edington Place in Old Marco suffered a catastrophic failure of their seawall and subsequent erosion of the ground beneath the buildings. Scott toured the complex and was accompanied by Police Chief Al Schettino, along with Condo Director Steve Swanson and Building Manager Heather Hassell.
In addition to Chief Schettino, Councilors Grifoni, Honig, Reed and Roman were present at the condo complex. Members of the FEMA team were also in attendance for the tour of that complex and viewed the damage.
Governor Scott viewed the damage along the route through Marco and out to the small fishing village of Goodland. He complimented Chief Schettino on the progress of the cleanup efforts undertaken by the city staff. “The governor was very positive in his comments about the island and its progress in the short time we’ve been at this. It really is a compliment to all the hard work of the city staff, LCEC, our sister law enforcement, fire/rescue personnel who are assisting, all the volunteers, and our wonderful businesses. This is a team effort and will continue to be one,” said Schettino.
The governor made a stop at Kirk’s Fish House in Goodland, where he met with residents of that small community which has been impacted so seriously. He would meet with residents and business owners and answer a number of questions prior to moving onto Everglades City to tour the devastation to that area with Sheriff Kevin Rambosk, along with State Senator Kathleen Passidomo and State Representative Bob Rommel.