For one woman on Sanibel, a silver lining among the devastation and chaos after Hurricane Ian gives her a bit of optimism.
It’s easy to find debris, destruction, and incredible loss on Sanibel.
It wouldn’t take long to find a house without a roof, or a home scraped from its foundations.
But, people like Monique Toleran, are what is seldomly seen on the island.
“I haven’t, like, I cried… once. I saw the video the week after. But everything is just like, I think we’re gonna make it,” Toleran said.
Because, even after one of the worst disasters in Sanibel’s history, she’s finding a silver lining.
Damage caused by Hurricane Ian to buildings on Sanibel. CREDIT: WINK News
“Something tragic like this. No one really knows what to do, how to, you know, deal with emotionally,” Toleran said. “But I could see everybody just coming together and just making it work … supporting each other, and everything is coming up. I mean, we have the streets, all the new poles now. That’s incredible.”
Toleran wasn’t immune to the damage since her home on Dimmick Drive survived five feet of storm surge.
She and her husband were out of the state when Ian hit, but when they returned, the area was simply unrecognizable.
“The car was totally submerged. The inside.. they’re working on it. The roof is damaged the soffits a lot. Oh, we just got the yard cleared out last week. So that made a big difference,” Toleran said.
Toleran walked WINK News through her beautiful home, showing the damage from the storm.
During the tour, she discussed how Sanibel isn’t the same anymore. The green oasis she loved and the place she called home was torn apart from what she saw in front of herself.