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A first-hand account of Hurricane Ian's impact on the Town of Fort Myers Beach and ongoing efforts there to rebuild

Bill Veach - above garage apartment and empty lot where cottage used to be.jpg
Mike Braun / WGCU
Fort Myers Beach Town Council member Bill Veach's above garage apartment. This photo was taken from where his beachfront cottage used to stand.

When Hurricane Ian made landfall along the southwest Florida coast it brought a storm surge of at least 14-feet, completely inundating all of the area’s barrier islands and causing widespread damage throughout southwest Florida and beyond.

We get a first-hand account of the storm’s impact on Estero Island, and the Town of Fort Myers Beach and its residents and business owners, from Bill Veach. He is a member of the FMB Town Council and a resident of Estero Island. He has lived there with his wife in an old beachfront cottage for thirteen years — it was one of many structures on the island completely washed away by Hurricane Ian. We talk with Mr. Veach about his storm experience, how the rebuilding process is going so far, and how this storm is invariably going to change the character of the island.

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