According to Clay County, FL. Director of Emergency Management John Ward, who’s been helping Fort Myers Beach for the passed 6 weeks, a total of 3,200 structures were impacted by Hurricane Ian. 900 were totally destroyed and 2,200 structures on Fort Myers Beach suffered light to moderate damage.
Ward says the storm surge from the 5th most powerful storm in United States history, included storm surges between 8 and 18 feel depending on where water came ashore.
Ward also said approximately $75 million in damage has been calculated so far to town owned facilities, including more than $30 million in damage to roads and bridges, $13.2 million in damage to public utilities, $4 million in damage to water control facilities, $8.9 million in damage to public buildings and equipment and $1.5 million in damage to parks and recreation facilities.
The biggest expenses from the storm are debris removal and staffing. Ward says the state is covering all but $150,000 in expenses for debris removal. That $150,000 was for work done early after the storm that Ward says that is not reimbursable. Ward said the cost for debris removal will not be a burden to the town and the trucks will keep working despite FEMA dropping its portion to 90% on Wednesday. He says the state will pay that other 10%. Debris will continue to be dropped off at Bay Oaks once picked up off the streets of Fort Myers Beach. It eventually gets moved from Bay Oaks, mainly at night, to its final destination.
Staffing for the storm is at about $15.2 million to date and Ward says $7.6 million will be returned to the town quickly. $450,000 was paid out to staff in overtime and double-time pay. $150,000 of the extra pay (the double-time pay) will not be reimbursed by FEMA. That was a decision made by the previous manager and Mayor, without the consent of the full council, and does not fall under what FEMA will reimburse for.