Brevard leaders vote to request more money to remove boats

By Jerry Hume, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 06, 2018, 10:47 PM EST

Brevard County leaders Tuesday night voted unanimously to send letters to the state to ask for more funding to remove boats stuck in the water following Hurricane Irma.

  • State can only remove derelict boats
  • It is a felony if someone else moves boats
  • Neighbors had to build bridge across dock

The storm hit Florida nearly 6 months ago, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

Karol Clifton lives across the street from the Indian River Lagoon, just south of Cocoa Village. The hurricane pushed several boats onto the shore, including a sailboat that went through her dock.

"It is frustrating. We can't fix our dock," said Clifton. "We can't touch (the boat), if we touch it's a felony, so there isn't anything we can do about it but look at it."

Her neighbors built a temporary bridge over the boat to access the end of the dock.

Brevard County Emergency Management says 50 abandoned boats were removed following Irma, but 50 more remain stuck in Space Coast waterways.

It is up to the state to remove derelict vessels and debris from navigable waterways.

"Funding for those programs has run out," said Kimberly Prosser, director for Brevard County Emergency Management.

The Brevard County Commission on Tuesday voted in favor of sending letters to state leaders to ask for $2.5 million to finish the job.

Until the state pays up, there is not much Clifton can do.

"Now we're just stuck with this mess," she said.

The Brevard County Commission met Tuesday at 5 p.m. in Viera to discuss the issue and press state leaders for more money.