Saturday, October 8, 2022

Sep-Oct 2022: Hurricane Ian - Early Pics (Only)

By now everyone knows about Hurricane Ian and its destructive path.  Here at our place in Southwest Florida – where the Caloosahatchee River flows into San Carlos Bay and the Gulf of Mexico – we got hammered.  We’ll write more about the experience and aftermath in due course, but for now we’re just sharing some photos.

This what the situation looked like on 22-Sep, six days before landfall.

The 22-Sep model plots....looked ominous

By 24-Sep most of the model plots had shifted well to our west....and we were not buying it.
We started putting up shutters and making arrangements to evacuate the boat & ourselves.

By 26-Sep the plots started moving back towards the east & us.

And we ended up in the worst eye wall winds & surge for hours.  At least we were inland in
a hotel by that time.

Here's a capture of the inReach track from our dock to RFYC

We hauled out the boat at RFYC in Labelle on Monday, 9/26

Ghost Rider got placed under a Cat-5 rated roof

Back at the house we then spooled the empty lift as high as we thought safe.

We put up house storm panels (shutters) all around & then got the hell out of there.

We should have relocated that standup paddle-peddle board.  Oh well.

Poolside prep view.

The storm hit as a high-end category 4 with 150 MPH winds and surge varying between 8 and 14 feet.  Our place is about 7.5 feet above sea level.  Fort Myers Beach (a few miles to our south) was flattened, as was Sanibel Island (a few miles to our southwest) and Pine Island (a couple miles closer.)  Our area experienced the southern eye wall for at least 7 hours.

The front of the house looked like it weathered the winds well.  We had retrofitted the roof with
hurricane hold down straps.

On the backside, however, not so much....there WAS a hot tub in this space

The pool was part seawater aquarium & part mangrove swamp

Water level at the back side of the house was obvious.

Water damage inside....

One street over from ours...floated off of someone's lift & plopped down here.

This is what's left of our neighbor's pool cage (one lot to our right.)

This is our neighbor's boat (across the street); it floated and/or blew off its lift and parked itself
on top of the dock.  They did get a crane truck back there to put it back in the water.

The start of our interior demolition.

We're just getting started (as of 7-October) on interior demolition steps, that and rebuild will take some time, but we'll get there.  We'll post more on such progress in the future.  As a parting shot, and a reminder of why informed folks "hide from the wind, but run from the water", here is a before and after aerial view of Legacy Harbor Marina, which not long ago was our home port just a few miles upriver:


  1. Tks for up date. Be safe and Indevor to Perseverance per movie Josey Wales.

  2. SO glad you are safe .. the rest will come in time …
    We are ok too .., we sheltered at Julie & Ian’s .
    Have roof damage & water damage mostly in our family room ..,
    so all things considered pretty darn lucky !!
    Keep us posted as you progress .. 👍☘️❣️

  3. Happy you are both safe. Don't overwork yourselves, slow and steady. Debbie W.

    1. Thanks Debbie; I'm getting too old to go fast anyway.

  4. Obviously some serious surge for a Pro-Line to be deposited in the middle of the street.

    I assume your stand-up paddleboard wound up in Jacksonville?

    So sorry you guys have to go thru this; I'm a bit surprised the reconstruction process is going forward as quickly as it is; I would've thought the Red Tape & delays would set the process back months, but I'm certainly glad it's moving forward.

    It's scary to look at the Legacy shot. If memory serves, it was for sale a couple years ago when we were still there.

  5. Hey Bill...I believe Legacy sold this past January; buyer's plan was to redevelop, guess that's a given now, eh?

    No clue where the SUP ended up, but JAX is a good guess (or maybe RFYC?)

    Reconstruction will definitely take a while, although we do have a builder/contractor ready. Supply chain delays will be a big issue. The deconstruction (demolition) got underway quickly because we found them next door & I wrote them a check; insurance company (USAA & partners) have been cooperative so far.