Fort Myers Expensive Community Rallies to Rebuild
In the wake of Hurricane Ian, a tight-knit coastal community in Fort Myers is facing devastation on their doorstep – and is working together to rebuild.
Marilyn Meir, a Fort Myers resident, told CTV National News: “I was told my car was in the water. “Well, I didn’t know it was on my bike, too.”
Meir’s property was one of many damaged by the Category four storm, which residents say is the worst they’ve ever been in.
Meir’s neighborhood of mobile homes, which one resident calls their own little “oasis”, is now ravaged with tattered roofs, tattered awnings and the stench of floodwater. Debris was scattered along the coast, turning what was once a paradise into a place of destruction.
Darwin Anderson, another Fort Myers resident, said he “didn’t think he was going to get there for a while,” as the storm rattled his community.
He told CTV National News that pieces of wood from someone’s front porch were loaded onto Anderson’s truck, and pieces from someone else’s porch were in the back of his home.
Peter Don, a Canadian from southern Ontario who is also a resident of the Fort Myers community, says he is determined not to give up.
“I want to cry. That’s all,” said Don, who has come to help with the cleanup efforts and salvage what’s left of the broken paradise. “I’m not going to let my home go. .”
As the storm eased, community members like Don got into action, providing dehumidifiers, generators, and repair equipment. But there’s still work to be done, especially for those who don’t have much left to save.
“[Hurricane] Ian took everything away,” said Janie Meir, another Fort Myers community member. “It destroyed the entire park. We got out just in time. Our place is done. We have to start over.”
However, amid all the devastation and despair, residents can be seen pushing wheeled trash cans and distributing supplies to neighbors, determined to rebuild.