Hurricane Ian survivors work together to bring Ft. Myers back (includes video story)

Hurricane Ian made landfall on the west coast of Florida on Sept. 28, nearly three and a half weeks ago. The storm had winds that peaked at 155 mph resulting in unprecedented flooding along the coast. Crews have surveyed the area and estimate the damages will be in the billions while the authorities have reported 136 confirmed dead.

Survivors are slowly piecing together the wreckage left behind. One the survivors, Randy Blakesley began collecting personal belongings from his sunken boat today. Hoping to weather the storm at the Fort Myers pier, he had stayed in his houseboat until the storm surge carried his boat over a pillar that pierced his boat’s side, causing him to take on water and have to bail.

Fortunately, several survivors managed to join with him and swim to the marina where they weathered the storm. Blakesley said he had never seen anything like it. “When they talk storm surge from now I will definitely pay attention,” he said.

Repair for the marina is still in the planning stages. The Fort Myers pier has been leased out to Suntex, a Texas-based company that specializes in all things marine. Unfortunately this has left some residents struggling for answers as to when they will have their light and water restored or if they will still be able to afford rent prices in the marina.

Captain Nick Lebid, a resident of Fort Myers who housed his boat at the marina, had the following to share of his experience.

“Construction is going to take some time, it goes very slowly,” Lebid said. “I don’t know what they are going to do with the building [the marina] but you never know what’s going to happen here.”

Samuel Rodriguez Garcia is a senior at Florida International University. Samuel hopes to bring a little more light to the world with every interaction. After graduation he will pursue a career in film making.