NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. – Thursday morning daylight revealed the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Lee County where the Category 4 storm made landfall Wednesday in Cayo Costa.
The 140 mph winds crumbled mobile homes along Twin Brooks Road, near Bayshore Road, in North Fort Myers. The walls of several collapsed.
The piece of a roof covered a couch. The wind loosened a toilet. Clothes spilled out of what was left of a closet. Toiletries were scattered on the grass.
In areas where there wasn’t flooding in Cape Coral, the wind uprooted trees. Some partially blocked roads. And without working traffic lights, police officers asked drivers to treat intersections as four-way stop signs.
Cape Coral city officials reported that a damaged water system distribution pipeline prompted the shutdown of the potable water system.
Near Cayo Costa, the hurricane’s 20-foot waves caused Sanibel Island’s only causeway to the mainland to collapse in several places. It was closed southbound at Punta Rassa Road and northbound at Sextant Drive.
The storm surge from the Gulf of Mexico flooded Fort Myers Beach and scattered debris. The historic T-shaped pier was gone.
The Caloosahatchee River flooded the city of Fort Myers and the water flooded hotels and restaurants in the Main Street and Broadway area, near the Old Lee County courthouse.
Officials said the aftermath efforts focused on rescues and on assessing damage to roads, bridges, and infrastructure.
There were urban search and rescue teams scanning the barrier islands in coordination with Lee County’s Emergency Operations Center. The shelters remained open.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno and the Fort Myers Police Department asked anyone who is concerned about their family’s safety in the area to call 239-321-7700.
LEE COUNTY NOTICES
- Curfew begins at 6 p.m.
- Solid waste garbage collection will resume on Monday.
- There is a boil-water notice in effect.
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Torres contributed to this report from Miami.