Fort Myers Beach was one of Florida’s hardest hit areas when Hurricane Ian made landfall. The Category 4 hurricane barreled into the Gulf Coast, yanking roofs off of homes and wreaking havoc on the beachfront town facing the Gulf of Mexico. With countless properties knocked down to the foundation, Fort Myers Beach faces a long recovery full of extensive roof repair.
Residents who long admired their Estero island town’s clean, white sands and glistening, blue waters, now face a harsh contrast consisting of splintered beach homes, a ravaged former pier, and businesses stripped of roofs, doors, and windows.
Although the first 48 hours are the most important after a disaster, rescue teams from the Federal Emergency Management System (FEMA) are still on the ground executing door-to-door checks for a second time. These teams are canvassing the neighborhood searching for survivors with cameras on extension poles and specially trained dogs.
Some hope remains as many people prepare for hurricanes by stockpiling at least 72 hours worth of food and well-equipped survivors can be found even further after a disaster strikes.
According to some residents, Fort Myers Beach resembles Hiroshima or Nagasaki after atomic bombs were launched on these cities during World War Two.
Some residents are uncertain whether they’ll stay in Fort Myers Beach citing the challenges and heartbreak of rebuilding. Still others vow to remain, determined to complete the construction, renovation, and roof repair necessary to reside in this island town that they hold so dear.
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