FORT MYERS BEACH
Fort Myers Beach continues to recover from Hurricane Ian. But some of the worst affected areas may be out of sight.
The north side of the island, if you turn right instead of left at the foot of the bridge, still lives in a world of progress and pain.
Have you noticed on your way to Fort Myers Beach how the road bends at the foot of the bridge? Because of the design, you might want to turn left, but WINK News turned right on Tuesday.
“Every time I go from the south side of the island to the north side, I cry,” said Darla Uran, who moved from the north side of the island.
“I hear this word ‘sustainability’ all the time.” It’s just… well, we’re resilient. But it still hurts. It still hurts,” Uran said.
Although Hurricane Ian is long gone, it hasn’t left Uranus’ memory for a single day since it made landfall in southwest Florida.
“All my kitchen,” said Uranus, crying. “Just took everything! My car!”
You can hear the pain in her voice because she lived on the north side of the island.
“I am…displaced,” Uranus said as he continued to cry. “I’m still trying to find a place to live.”
But that’s easier said than done. She has no home, no job and nowhere to go.
“They say it’s getting easier. And I’m glad that it’s getting easier for some people,” Uran said. “But there are others here. I Us.”
But everything comes to an end.
“It’s started, the guest rooms are coming online, we have about 60 rooms online,” said Gary Lee of Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina.
Lee showed WINK News 60 rooms, not all of which are used for guests; rather, they will be used for FEMA assistance.
“For FEMA, for the people who were displaced. These people are, you know, taking refuge here while they’re working on their homes and, you know, taking care of their situation,” Lee said.
As of Tuesday, 55 to 60 displaced families, thanks to FEMA assistance, are living at the Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina.
Lee didn’t have a schedule to open it to all guests, but when WINK News was inside Tuesday, it looked great.