Hurricane stories

After one year, Hurricane Ian victims are still working to rebuild

FORT MYERS, Fla. — It’s been one year since Hurricane Ian lashed Southwest Florida.

More than 150 people died in the U.S., and it caused more than $112 billion in damage.


Now, after one year, residents in Fort Myers are speaking about how their lives are still affected by the storm.

Mike Yost and his wife are living in a trailer in Bonita Springs, which was temporary government-funded housing set up after Hurricane Ian. Yost lost his rental home on Fort Myers Beach and might not be able to afford to return.

“We’ve made do to get by, but as far as moving and improving, it’s a little harder than you might think. The place I rented is probably $3,000 a month. Before the storm, it was $1,500,” Yost said.

[DOWNLOAD: Free Action News Jax app for alerts as news breaks]

Piles of debris still line city streets and most of the famed downtown area, known as Times Square, remains closed.

FEMA holds regular updates for residents like Diane Andruzko, who has been unable to return to her condo.

“No electricity, no sewer, no water, no power, no service to the building,” she explained.

Read: Showers expected, flooding warnings and advisories in some local neighborhoods

These struggles aren’t lost on Fort Myers Mayor Dan Allers, who said recovery could take several years with insurance disputes, rebuilding costs and rising interest rates slowing the process.

“A lot of people invested their life savings, and Ian took that away,” he said.

Some residents worry their “Florida way of life” is no longer possible. The Mayor said that while the city welcomes new, stronger buildings, it’s working to keep the community vibe intact.

Read: More than 70% of Nagorno-Karabakh’s population flees as separatist government says it will dissolve

[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]

Click here to download the free Action News Jax news and weather apps, click here to download the Action News Jax Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Action News Jax live.

Comments on this article