The Army Corps of Engineers has completed its first ‘Blue Roof’ installation in Fort Myers after Hurricane Ian.
The effort is part of Operation Blue Roof, which allows those with up to half their roof framing damaged by the storm to have roofs covered temporarily with plastic sheeting. The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Oct. 3 tasked the Army Corps in Charlotte and Lee counties with providing repairs. The program was later expanded to Collier, DeSoto and Sarasota counties.
Those communities took much of the direct wind force hit when Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds, made landfall on Sept. 28.
Individuals can sign up until Oct. 21 for the fiberglass-reinforced roofing to be installed for free.
The first finished roof now sits atop the home of Barbara Powell, a 27-year resident of Fort Myers.
For individuals to qualify for the program, homes must serve as primary residents for occupants, and all vacation rental properties are excluded. Those houses where more than 50% of the framing is destroyed cannot have a blue roof installed. All storm debris must be removed from the roof before installation.
The repairs are not available for certain types of roofs including flat roofs or those made of metal or clay, slate or asbestos tile.
Residents who participate in the program must allow the Army Corps of Engineers access to their homes to assess the damage and install the reinforced tarp.
Aware of electricity and internet outages in storm-affected areas, Army Corps of Engineers workers have visited hard-struck neighborhoods offering services door-to-door.
“Operation Blue Roof is a priority mission managed by the U.S. Army Corps Engineers,” reads a release from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office on the program. “It protects property, reduces temporary housing costs, and allows residents to remain in their homes while recovering from the storm.”