FORT MYERS BEACH
Southwest Florida has come a long way since Hurricane Ian devastated communities across our area 100 days ago, but there’s still a long way to go.
Much storm debris littering the streets is gone, and more businesses are opening every day.
But a lot of people are still displaced and waiting for temporary housing. And others are wondering how their livelihoods will continue.
Repairing Fort Myers Beach 100 days after Hurricane Ian. CREDIT: WINK News
Positivity seems to be on the rise after hearing the people WINK News spoke with on Friday, even if some people are still living in trailers.
Krystyn Alvarez is one of those people that are still living in a trailer.
“That’s when the wind started. It was pushing boats into my house into my windows,” Alvarez said.
But, if Alvarez were asked, she’d say she shouldn’t be alive.
“I was sitting on the stove, and the water was coming up to my knees. And I was praying,” Alvarez said. “I don’t know how I survived that.”
Especially not after riding out the hurricane near Parrot Key.
Alvarez saw a restaurant on the bayside of Fort Myers Beach saw nearly 17 feet of storm surge.
Even 100 days after the storm, Alvarez feels like she’s still back on the first day after.
99 days after the storm, Alvarez got power back down the street from where she rode out the hurricane.
WINK News asked Alvarez, “You say you just got power…?”
“Just yesterday here…” Alvarez replied.
“I’ve been doing solar lights and have to hook up all my solar lights at night,” Alvarez said.
She has let her creativity take control and help her during these difficult times.
“I had to get gas to put in the generator, and that was tough,” Alvarez said. “Like we got that cold spell last week. I had to go get gas and get a little space heater was really cold.”
Heartbroken, Alvarez counts the glances at the place she’s called home for 35 years, Fort Myers Beach.
“That’s the worst part,” Alvarez said while crying. “Just seeing the beach to come back … it just looks terrible.”
Despite the damage and pain, Alvarez sees hope ahead.
She feels blessed to be alive even if she has only been over the bridge four times in the last 100 days to see what the area looks like. Alvarez said it just gets harder every time.