Nearly every structure on Fort Myers Beach, both residential and commercial, suffered some sort of damage from Hurricane Ian. Some of it was wind damage, some of it was water damage, some of it was both. A lot of it was devastating.
Depending on where a structure was when the storm surge came through or what may have been blocking the structure protecting it determined the level of damage. On some side streets on Fort Myers Beach, an entire block of homes could be gone, while on another you may see one home standing. It was all random. Nobody knew what their home would look like when they returned, or if it would even be there.
Five months after the storm, the town wants to accelerate the cleanup efforts. Some residents have begun to complain that homes and other structures, damaged by the storm, have not been touched or cleaned out. The same goes for several businesses, like The Shamrock and Charley’s Boathouse (pictured below). Residents living close to these untouched structures complain about the smell of rotting food or rodents.
To be fair, some of these property owners have to deal with insurance companies who have not been the easiest people to work with. They are told not to touch their properties until claims are settled, which was the case with Town Hall (see next photo), which is still as it was the day after the storm. Others are waiting for their structures to be demolished by the state through iandebriscleanup.com.
The Town Council discussed starting to crack down on property owners who have not started the effort to clean up. They discussed code enforcement possibly citing homeowners for failing to maintain their property. When that will start happening is unclear being that the council does want to give homeowners ample warning. They are struggling with being compassionate as homeowners struggle through a once-in-a-lifetime catastrophe and moving on with rebuilding an entire community. They are also hearing from neighbors who are making an effort to clean their lots complaining about other property owners that are not.
Pools have also become an issue. In some cases an entire home is gone and the pool that once say behind that now missing home is the only thing left on the property. Pools must be fenced for safety purposes.