Fort Myers, Florida, Facing Billions of Dollars in Property Damage from Hurricane Ian
Heartbreaking images shared on social media show the streets of Fort Myers, Florida, littered with debris from homes and businesses destroyed by Hurricane Ian.
According to local media reports, Category 4 Hurricane Ian hit Southwest Florida after making landfall on Wednesday. With 150 mph winds, the powerful storm destroyed homes and commercial buildings, some beyond repair.
Fort Myers, located on Southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, suffered the most damage, with property losses expected to account for billions of dollars.
Hardest-Hit Parts of Fort Myers
Footage shared by southeast Florida’s media showed Fort Myers Beach’s shoreline littered with rubble and debris from boats that washed ashore.
The popular beach spot on Estero Island was hit hard by Hurricane Ian as soon as it made landfall just 22 miles to the north on Wednesday.
Local officials reported that smaller buildings across Fort Myers Beach had been swept away by floods.
Although some buildings were left standing, all their first floors were destroyed. A survey of photos and videos from the island’s northern half published by the New York Times showed that almost 400 buildings had been ruined or severely damaged.
However, much greater damage is expected throughout Fort Myers and along the state’s central coastal strip, where the storm also wreaked havoc.
Fort Myers Beach’s main shopping area, commonly known as Times Square, was almost completely leveled.
Photographs and videos also showed that smaller houses or structures closer to the coast were completely washed away, leaving only pilings or foundations.
Hurricane Ian’s destruction extended for several blocks behind Estero Boulevard, the highway that runs parallel to the shoreline, satellite images showed.
Other satellite images also revealed that houses in a neighborhood surrounding the Fort Myers pier were completely destroyed.
The pier itself was reduced to rubble, local authorities confirmed.
Estimated Property Damage in Fort Myers
Authorities have focused on rescuing people trapped in flooded or collapsed homes and buildings in various parts of Fort Myers. However, recovering from the damage is estimated to take time and cost billions of dollars.
According to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, one inch of floodwater could cause $25,000 in damage.
However, property information firm CoreLogic said wind losses for residential and commercial properties in Florida range from $22 billion to $32 billion.
Fort Myers, the hardest-hit area in the state, accounts for a large portion of the damage costs caused by Hurricane Ian.