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Hurricane Ian: Day One Retrospective

Hurricane Ian destroyed several portions of the Sanibel Causeway.
Thomas James for WGCU/NPR
Hurricane Ian destroyed several portions of the Sanibel Causeway.

Although it’s been more than two months since Hurricane Ian made landfall as a strong Category 4 storm along the Southwest Florida coast near Sanibel Island many residents of this region are still very much in recovery mode.

According to an analysis in late November by NBC News, based on public records obtained from local and state authorities, there were 148 deaths related to Hurricane Ian in Florida — including 119 from flooding, winds and other dangerous conditions during the storm. Sixty one of those deaths occurred in Lee County.

While the bridges to Sanibel and Captiva Islands have been repaired well enough to allow vehicle traffic, the barrier islands —especially Estero Island and the Town of Fort Myers Beach — remain devastated and the islands’ residents and business owners still have a long road ahead of them before any semblance of normalcy will return.

We’re going to go back in time to Thursday, September 29 — the day after Ian’s landfall — to listen to some of the voices we heard on Gulf Coast Life. We did the show live at 2:00 p.m. and then again at 7:00 p.m. Power and internet was still out for many, if not most people in our listening area, and cell service was spotty at best. So, we brought on members of our team to hear what they had seen and experienced to try to provide as much first-hand information as possible about what the region and its residents were going through.

Eileen Kelley, WGCU Investigative Reporter
Sandra Viktorova, WGCU All Things Considered Host
Megan Borowski, Florida Public Radio Emergency Network Meteorologist
John Davis, WGCU Asst. News Director and Morning Edition Host
Tara Calligan, WGCU Social Media Coordinator, Producer, and Reporter
Pam James, WGCU Executive Producer for Content
Samantha Romero, WGCU part-time reporter and Editor at WINK News

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