FORT MYERS, Fla. --
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is announcing the installation of the first Blue Roof in Fort Myers, Oct. 8.
The installation is a part of the FEMA assigned Corps-managed Operation Blue Roof program. The program's primary goal is to provide as many storm-damaged eligible roofs with protection from further damage from rain in future storms. Additionally, it seeks to provide residents with a livable house while they recover from the effects of Hurricane Ian.
Barbara Powell, a Georgia native who has lived in Fort Myers for 27 years, was the first to receive the professionally installed, fiber-reinforced sheeting on her house.
"I am very appreciative of everything the government is doing," said Ms. Powell, the homeowner. "There is supposed to be rain coming in the next week, and this will keep the roof from getting worse."
The Blue Roof program is a no-cost service for homeowners.
"Today's installation of the first Blue Roof is significant. It marks the start of the FEMA's and Army Corps' push to get temporary roofs on eligible storm-damaged houses in this area," said Col. James L. Booth, Commander, Jacksonville District. "Every home is equally important. But you can't get to 30,000 without starting with one."
Operation Blue Roof protects property, reduces temporary housing costs, and allows residents to remain in their homes while recovering from the storm. This program is for primary residences or a permanently occupied rental property with less than 50 percent structural damage. Vacation rental properties are not eligible for this program.
After installation of the blue roof, the structure is declared habitable. However, not all roof types qualify for the program. For example, flat roofs or those made of metal or clay, slate, or asbestos tile do not qualify for the program.
Residents can sign up for the program by calling toll-free 1-888-ROOF-BLU (1-888-766-3258) or visiting www.Blueroof.us. Residents must sign a Right of Entry (ROE) form, a legal document that allows Corps workers to access their property to conduct an assessment and install the tarp.