FORT MYERS, Fla. – Hurricane Ian’s wind, rain and storm surge has caused at least a dozen deaths, flooded homes, left millions without power and flattened businesses. Now, people who live there are assessing the damage, and preparing to rebuild what Ian destroyed.
News4JAX anchor and reporter Vic Micolucci spoke with a man who decided to stay in Fort Myers and ride out the storm on his sailboat with his dogs. Sid Cleaves said, “We’ve ridden out many hurricanes, but this is the most ferocious I’ve ever seen. I’ve been in Florida over 50 years and I’ve never seen one so bad.”
Cleaves realized at one point in the storm he and his dogs had to run for safety and get off the boat. His sailboat didn’t make it through the storm.
People who live in Fort Myers are now in search of food, basic necessities, gas, and other things they lost in the storm. There’s no electricity and no water. At this point, there is no way to know how much damage Ian caused, or how long it will take to rebuild.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno posted a video on social media showing an aerial view of homes on fire, buildings flattened, roads washed away and underwater.
This morning Sheriff Carmine Marceno took a tour of Lee County to begin assessing damage caused by Hurricane Ian.— Carmine Marceno - Florida’s Law and Order Sheriff (@SheriffLeeFL) September 29, 2022
We are devastated. Our hearts go out to every resident who is impacted. The Lee County Sheriffs Office is mobile and will stop at nothing to help our residents. pic.twitter.com/S4OsB8ajRv
Fort Myers Beach suffered even more devastation, nothing survived the hurricane. What was once a quaint tourist spot, is gone -- now just piles of rubble and debris. Hurricane Ian was a Category 4 when it made landfall nearby, sending 150 mph winds and storm surge through the town’s center.