FORT MYERS BEACH
Anyone living in Fort Myers Beach who still feels left in the dark and frustrated after Hurricane Ian will have the opportunity Friday evening to meet and get answers from Florida’s emergency management director.
Residents will get the chance to talk to FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie and representatives from other agencies, who will visit Fort Myers Beach to answer questions about housing and other recovery resources. At around 6 p.m., people can gather at the meeting tent outside Fort Myers Beach Town Hall, located at 2525 Estero Boulevard, to find out how they can get what they need.
The main thing people on Fort Myers Beach want right now is a place to call home. Despite the monumental efforts to clean up hurricane debris, there remains devastation as far as the eye can see. People like Kim and Jim Davis watched in fear and horror as water burst through their front door and threatened to overtake their home. They watched pieces of their neighbors’ lives float by.
“We sat right here running from window to window and front to back, watching the houses go and cars come by, and boats go by,” Kim Davis said.
Water spills into the Fort Myers Beach home of Kim and Jim Davis during Hurricane Ian. Courtesy of the Davises
The Davises had lived in that bayfront home for 18 months before Ian struck. They prayed the water would recede soon after the storm surge rose up around them, but things got worse: Their neighbors’ home from across Estero Boulevard smashed into theirs before floating into the bay.
“The mold and mildew that we would have had to put up with… it’s a double-edged sword,” Jim Davis said. “We stayed. We shouldn’t have, but I’m glad we did.”
The Davises were some of the lucky ones; repairs on their home are already underway. The people who lost everything want to know what it will take to make them whole again and are looking to state and local leaders for answers.
Anyone from the Fort Myers Beach community is welcome to speak to Kevin Guthrie and the other representatives Friday night.