ESPN SWFL Hurricane Central Continuing Coverage

These new hurricane Ian photos from Fort Myers Beach are on the bay side, just before crossing the Matanzas Pass Bridge. San Carlos Blvd is littered with boats. Boats in mangroves, boats on sidewalks, boats on cars.

I went down to this part of the beach community to help one of my best friends look for anything that she could salvage from her parent’s mobile home. The drive was narrow and precarious. We creeped along watching trucks loaded with supplies and tools  slowly navigating the debris. Business owners were directing clean up. In a neighborhood leading up to our destination, homeowners were busy pulling out clothing and possessions to dry and save.

However, when we pulled over just a a couple of blocks down, it was eerily quiet. Looking around, I did not see one person. Nor one home that survived. It was muddy and slippery. The scent in the air was rancid. My friend’s family, Peter and Jane Ray, lost everything. We tried to pry open warped drawers in furniture, looking for sentimental and precious items.

Filling a few trash bags with things we thought we could save, we departed, in silence.

Her parents are now have  a suitcase full of clothing and a few trinkets left from their decades of living. What do you do next? Where do you go? How do you start over?  The sadness, the loss is profound.

The cleanup is underway in Southwest Florida but there is a long road ahead. If you suffered flood damage and do not have insurance, do not delay in filling out a claim with FEMA.

These new hurricane Ian photos from Fort Myers Beach mostly show where big boats ended up. You’ll also see a few photos from the mobile home park off of Main Street that was decimated.