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Hurricane Ian


RSchnell
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3 hours ago, jaymcminn said:

Got lucky here in Naples. Only lost power for 18 hours or so, probably because all of the power infrastructure in my area was replaced after being decimated by Irma. I live about 7 miles inland on a freshwater canal so I didn't have the storm surge that wrecked coastal areas. There's some cleanup I need to do in the yard but not too bad.

I'm the front office manager at a 183 room hotel on the Gordon River where it meets Naples Bay. Our property was built 7 years ago to withstand both category 4 winds and worst-case storm surge and made it through with flying colors. We're open running on enormous generators and are accommodating FP&L crews who are working to restore power in the area. Our executive chef has been working hard to set up a "soup kitchen" to provide free meals to our guests who can't go out to eat with local restaurants closed. The downtown area sustained significant damage and the beachfront is a wreck. My old hotel on the beach had 8 feet of water inundating the ground floor.

The devastation on the Lee County barrier islands is heartbreaking. Ft. Myers Beach, Matlacha, Sanibel, Captiva... these areas will take years to recover. So much history and local color was lost and it can never be the same. One of my favorite day trips would be to hop in the Miata and take the long route up to the Bubble Room in Captiva for dinner. Seeing all the places that I know well along that drive destroyed is... there aren't really words for it. That doesn't even take into account the human misery. The death toll, which won't be known for a while. People displaced and homeless. 

I love this area. SW Florida has its frustrations and annoyances like anywhere else but when it comes down to it we pull together. In that spirit we will rebuild. Hopefully smarter. Hopefully stronger. The reality is that storms are getting more powerful and major storms seem to be more frequent and damaging. 

The Sanibel lighthouse was a place I wanted to photograph next time I was in the area. When these photos popped up on my Facebook feed, I was in shock. Good to hear you made through OK.

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