Hurricane Ian Devastated Southwest Florida: Homes, Condos, and Commercial Properties Destroyed
The extent of the damage caused by Category 4 Hurricane Ian has become clearer, as data firms and officials give their estimates in terms of losses and recovery.
Unfortunately, there is no good news. While Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said recovery would take a year, experts say the state will need much longer to deal with the destruction and its economic impact.
How Much Damage Did Hurricane Ian Cause?
After making landfall in Florida with 150 mph winds, Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc, becoming one of the strongest storms to hit the United States.
Residents who evacuated following warnings from authorities are still stunned after returning home and seeing how little was left.
What Happened in Fort Myers?
In Fort Myers, the hardest-hit area in the southwestern part of the state, houses were turned into crushed rubble. Local media reported that Hurricane Ian tore through a park of 60 homes, leaving many destroyed beyond repair.
Businesses near the coast were also completely leveled by the storm. The beach area reflected chaos, with broken docks floating alongside damaged boats.
The drive towards Fort Myers was littered with debris, including broken trees and boat trailers. Many people were also forced to abandon their cars after storm surges flooded and destroyed roads.
According to an official who flew over Fort Myers Beach, located along the southwest coast of Florida, at least 80% of the town’s structures must be rebuilt.
Other Places in Florida Were Also Hit
In Lee County, many roads were destroyed or rendered impassable by flooding and debris, hampering rescue efforts.
The historic beachfront pier in Naples, south of Sanibel Island, was destroyed after its pilings were ripped out.
In Port Charlotte, a hospital was hit hard by the hurricane. The emergency room was flooded, and strong winds tore off part of the building’s roof, leaving the intensive care unit under water.
How Many Properties Were Damaged?
According to the latest reports, at least 1,700 people remained in emergency shelters after their homes were destroyed or flooded.
The Times also identified almost 400 buildings that were visibly destroyed o suffered severe damage.
However, experts say the damage already identified is just a fraction of the destruction hurricane Ian brought to Florida.