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Fort Myers Beach reopens to residents, business owners almost two weeks after Hurricane Ian

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Fort Myers Beach, Florida – Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwestern Florida, the town of Fort Myers Beach is now allowing residents and business owners to return to the area to begin the next step in the recovery process.

Most Fort Myers Beach residents have been evacuated from the island since Hurricane Ian approached the area in late September.

Fort Myers Beach Mayor Ray Murphy said, “Efforts to save lives and recover the remains of lost loved ones have been our top priority since the storm. We are now taking the next step in the recovery process.” i am ready.”

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Access to Fort Myers Beach opened at 7:00 am on Sunday for residents, property owners, business owners, and insurance adjusters.

However, those returning to the island must bring ID or proof of residency to be granted access.

Traces left by Hurricane Ian

Fort Myers Beach still has no electricity or water

Here’s some important information to know when returning to Fort Myers Beach.

Town officials say the area still lacks electricity, running water, sewerage and garbage collection.

Additionally, internet and cell phone service are not strong enough as crews continue to make repairs after Hurricane Ian knocked down trees and utility lines across the area.

Town officials have warned that many structures have been damaged or destroyed and that almost none are safe to enter.

Also, there is no food or water on the island, and no shops are open.

The 7pm curfew is still in effect.

The island was also shrouded in storm surges of 12 to 18 feet, compromising the structural integrity of many homes and businesses. Electrical systems have also been damaged across the island.

Damage is “catastrophic”

Town officials are handing out notices to people returning to Fort Myers Beach, warning that the damage to homes and businesses will be “catastrophic.”

While FOX Weather multimedia journalist Will Nunley was at Fort Myers Beach, residents returned to assess the damage and begin picking up debris.

Nanley spoke with Tim Newman, who lives in Fort Myers Beach. Mr. Newman has been back on the island for several days and feels that the people will rebuild what was lost.

“There were 20 buildings here,” he said, pointing to the dilapidated site behind him. “It’s gone. The parking lot is gone. That’s amazing.”

Mr. Newman spoke with one of his neighbors, who lived on the island for 47 years, and said he would rebuild it.

“He’s been in that fallen house for 47 years,” he said. “He’s going to rebuild. He’s already told me so.”

Nanley said he has seen people clear the debris and recover as much as possible.

“This is going to be very hours and days for people coming back,” said Nunnley. “It’s one thing to see this on TV, right? It’s really amazing to start over and try to find what might be left inside.”