CREATED Sep. 10, 2013
NORTH FT. MYERS, Fla. - A 200 acre farm off Huffmaster Road in North Fort Myers is underwater.
Farmer George Westenbarger says 80% of the grass his livestock feeds on is gone and the majority of his farming equipment is stranded.
"It's hard because everything I have is destroyed, it's underwater," Westenbarger said.
About 50 animals usually graze on the land, but now Westenbarger can only find less than half.
"I have even found them on the road. I can't blame them because they are just trying to get out of here to find a high spot to eat," Westenbarger said.
Westenbarger is now spending thousands of dollars to bring in hay for food, but his animals are still dying.
"Partially from hunger, partially from what the vet says is a bacterial fungus," he said.
Westenbarger said he wants South Florida Water Management to help.
"They aren't managing water," he said.
Fox 4 reached out to their headquarters to find out why.
"That's a low lying area that still has very little infrastructure as far as a drainage system," Randy Smith, District Spokesman for South Florida Water Management District, said.
And because it's private property, Smith said they "wouldn't spend tax payer's dollars to come in and basically establish a private flood control system."
But Westenbarger still thinks it's SFWMD's responsibility because if they don't do their job, he can't do his.
"How can I use the farm for business?" Westenbarger asked.