FORT MYERS BEACH
Since Hurricane Ian, people who live in Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel have been jumping through hoops to get their mail.
Some have had to travel as far as the Southwest Florida International Airport to get their mail. The good news is help is here.
Temporary post office trailers are on Fort Myers Beach and will soon be ready to use.
Like just about everything else, Hurricane Ian destroyed Fort Myers Beach’s mail facility.
Two trailers represent hope. The United States Postal Service hopes to turn them into a temporary post office while it works to rebuild its main facility on Carolina Avenue.
“We’ve got the trailers now here; they’re working on these ramps to get them ADA accessible. So we hope to be open by the end of this week, which would be huge for our community,” said Jim Atterholt, vice mayor of Fort Myers Beach.
Atterholt said the old post office is gutted on the inside, so it’s going to take a while before it’s back. He said having someplace where people can get their mail is huge because, since the hurricane, most people here have had to go to the airport.
“And it’s a huge inconvenience. And I understood right after the storm why they had to do it. But we needed to get a place back on the island as soon as possible,” said Atterholt.
One trailer will have PO boxes for people who already have one, and the larger trailer will be a place where people can pick up their mail or send a letter. Something most people take for granted.
“There’s a tremendous optimism as we go forward for the future. We’re hearing so many really exciting plans for redevelopment, and so many people are working hard to rebuild their lives. And I just think I’m extremely optimistic about the future of Fort Myers Beach,” Atterholt said.
On Sanibel, the post office plans to put two mobile units ready to serve people by the end of the month.