FORT MYERS BEACH
A change in the charm has been the theme for the last few weeks on Fort Myers Beach while learning which iconic spots are selling or rebuilding.
WINK News is unsure if the Red Coconut RV Park will still be a place to live after the hurricane. Nevertheless, WINK News has learned more about what the area had to go through during Ian.
Norman Wells is a survivor. Wells was on Fort Myers Beach when Hurricane Ian made landfall.
“It got so bad when everything started shaking and the windows started breaking, I hugged my wife and I said, ‘I think this is it,’” Norman said.
Norman’s destroyed RV. CREDIT: WINK News
The fear was overwhelming while riding out the storm with his wife Linda. And, perhaps the most unfortunate part, they weren’t even supposed to be in that house.
“We were gonna stay here … in the clubhouse right here,” Norman said.
That’s right, they were supposed to be at the Red Coconut RV Park.
“At the last minute we said well, we’ll go to the beach house because we just put hurricane windows in there,” Norman said.
But suddenly, the phone rang.
“At the last minute my friend called me from down the road Marty and he says Norm go to my house because I know you’ll be safe. It was rated for a Cat-Five hurricane,” Norman said.
Unknown at the time, that phone call saved their lives. Norman and Linda were the last ones to leave.
“I watched the beach house I was supposed to stay in, float by down Estero Boulevard,” Norman said.
WINK News spoke to Norman three days after the storm made landfall in the same living room he watched his life flash before his eyes.
What the Red Coconut RV Park looks like after Ian. CREDIT: WINK News
WINK News and Norman went back to The Red Coconut RV Park to see it all again.
Norman’s mobile home, where he would have ridden out the storm, was tossed like ball 200 feet from where it stood.
For someone who had their life upended, Norman is happy. And if you ask him, it’s not hard to know why.
“My life. My wife. And that’s it. What more do you need? I got a good woman and I still got her,” Norman said.
But what does Norman think will change?
“Well, I think it’s going to be more towards the rich and famous. You know? The Cottage, the beaches, the good old folks. They’re not going to be here anymore. Because they’re not going to be able to afford to. I’m not going to be able to afford to live here either. You know, with prices … with how it’s gonna be,” Norman said. “It’s just… it’s sad because it was such a wonderful place. It will be in my heart for the rest of my life… and that was almost cut short.”