Hurricane Wilma: Surviving the Scare
In the early hours of October 24, 2005, Hurricane Wilma roared ashore just south of Naples, Florida. In the ensuing hours, the storm did more damage to Goodlette Arms than the four storms of 2004 combined.
And yet, emerging from that terrible day was a lesson in community spirit: the team effort of Goodlette Arms staff, residents, local relief agencies and volunteers helped the property recover, both physically and psychologically, from Wilma’s destructive force.
Winds of more than 110 mph ripped sections of roof off each residential building. This broke the pipe carrying water for the building’s fire sprinkler system, and some flooding ensued.
Several trees were uprooted. Falling trees snapped power lines and broke water mains. The property was without water and power for almost 72 hours.
The response from residents, volunteers, vendors and public agencies was extraordinary. Volunteers from the Red Cross served a hot meal almost every day for two weeks. A youth group from the Naples Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints carried food and water to every occupied apartment. The Collier County Emergency Management agency worked with property staff to coordinate donations of food and potable water, and to expedite the restoration of power and running water to the property. Vendors responded quickly, enabling cleanup and repair work to begin within hours of the storm’s passing.
Through it all, the undaunted spirit of the residents, and the efforts they made to ensure the well-being of their neighbors, helped recovery go quickly and smoothly.
High wind, rains and storm surge caused the canals bordering the property to overflow their banks.Goodlette’s management and maintenance staffs earned a well-deserved mention in the Naples Daily News as Hurricane Angels – examples of people in the community who went above and beyond the call of duty to reach out and help neighbors.