Damages to homes, businesses, and other personal property in the city of Naples from Hurricane Ian are now estimated at more than $1.5 billion.
City manager Jay Boodheshwar shared the new number Monday afternoon during a community update.
“Observable damages” to residential and commercial properties are estimated at $660 million, he said.
Those damages don’t include cars, insides of homes, furnishings, and other personal property, such as boats, which account for the much higher estimate that pushed it well past the billion-dollar mark.
Many residents lost the entire contents of their homes from an almost Category 5 storm, evidenced by the number of damaged goods piling up at the curb.
“It is devastating,” Boodheshwar said.
After the latest assessment, city officials determined that five properties are “completely destroyed,” he said.
Another 680 properties have "major damage," Boodheshwar added.
“They are not habitable,” he said.
Building officials are inspecting damaged structures and will post unsafe or no-occupancy notices as warranted, he said.
“The city is pulling together and we are going to get through this,” Boodheshwar said.
The Naples Pier is “structurally compromised,” he said, urging residents and visitors to stay away from it.
“It is dangerous to be on that pier,” Boodheshwar said.
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While some city parks have reopened, others are still unsafe, including the tennis center across from City Hall, where courts are heavily damaged.
Cambier Park is still closed, with 5 feet of water, due to flooding, Boodheshwar said.
As for the beach ends, they should be avoided because high waters have caused sinkholes on the asphalt, Boodheshwar said.
The beach itself is dangerous, he said, because of sharp objects that can’t be seen from the surface, that could be stepped on, causing serious injury, Boodheshwar said.
“Our beaches are going to remain closed for a while,” he said.
The city is making progress on clean-up.
Debris removal has already begun, to deal with the unbelievable amount of contents coming out of homes and businesses that are starting to create hazards.
Pick-ups aren’t expected to stop anytime soon, so Boodheshwar said there’s no need to get everything to the curb right away.
“This is going to be a monumental task,” he said, which will likely take months.
Full-scale removal operations will begin Wednesday.
For perspective, Boodheshwar said, the amount of construction and demolition debris will be enough to fill a football stadium, 40 feet high all the way up to the mezzanine level.
That debris includes flooring, carpets, baseboards and furniture, but not landscaping, appliances, and “white goods” he said, which will add to the massive load.
White goods could include everything from toys and clothes to comforters and towels.
“We’re coming back until it’s all gone,” Boodheshwar said.
Hazardous waste should not be thrown out at this time, he said, and landscaping should not be mixed with other waste.
City streets have come a long way, with most traffic lights working again.
“We are starting to make our medians beautiful again,” Boodheshwar said.
City officials remain concerned about the safety of residents from scavengers — and criminals.
To address that concern, Council adopted a second curfew on Monday for residential areas, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., starting two hours sooner than the citywide curfew.
With the new curfew, the city will step up patrolling its streets.
Violations could result in fines of up to $500 and/or imprisonment of up to 60 days.
Driving should be limited on city streets, with clean-up still underway, which is happening in stages.
“There are nails,” Boodheshwar said. “If you want a flat tire, go ahead.”
This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: Damages from Hurricane Ian estimated at more than $1.5 billion in Naples.