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: