Ian blamed for widespread flooding, extensive storm surge in Fort Myers

Hurricane Ian’s center made landfall Wednesday near Cayo Costa, a protected barrier island just west of heavily populated Fort Myers.

FORT MEYERS, Fla. – Hurricane Ian’s center made landfall Wednesday near Cayo Costa, a protected barrier island just west of heavily populated Fort Myers.

We’ve seen incredible video of the immense storm surge from Ian, and the flooding all up Florida’s west coast. Many things are getting washed away.

Checking on the rising water outside his second-story apartment, a boat was the last thing Ft. Myers resident Gage Long thought he’d find in the darkness right at his balcony.

“Once I’d seen the boat five feet away from my window, it was — that’s when it got real,” he told us.

With no power, Long spoke with News4JAX by candlelight on a Zoom call, and took us out on his balcony.

RELATED: Photos, videos show strong winds, flooding, ‘reverse storm surge’ in Southwest Florida as Hurricane Ian strikes

Long explained that he can see the Caloosahatchee River from his balcony. He lives in Ft. Myers’ River District downtown, but is originally from Georgia.

Now numb to the unending sound of his apartment building’s fire alarm, the incredible flooding was something else he didn’t expect when he decided to stay put as Hurricane Ian came ashore.

“You think a lot about the wind and about the debris and stuff, but this is actually my first time seeing the water this high. I’ve never seen it this high, and that kinda was scary,” Long said.

Long says the first floor of his apartment building is gone — submerged, along with cars on the street.

Gage has no idea who owns the boat or where exactly it floated from.


About the Author:

Joy Purdy co-anchors the 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts with Tarik Minor and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Kent Justice.