I live in Boca Raton, Florida with my wonderful pawrents. It’s on southern Florida’s east coast, and typically called ‘Boca’ by the locals. Anyway, I’m writing to describe our recent trip to Florida’s west coast to visit the areas where Hurricane Ian made landfall on September 22, 2022. But, first, I want to provide some basic information on Ian since it was a storm of historical importance.
Hurricane Ian was a powerful Category 5 Atlantic hurricane with sustained winds of 160 MPH. It was the third-costliest weather disaster on record, and the deadliest hurricane to strike Florida since the 1935 Labor Day hurricane. It caused 150 deaths in Florida, and catastrophic damage with losses estimated at $113 billion, the costliest in Florida’s history and the third costliest on record.
In early May, eight months after Ian made landfall, we went to Sanibel Island and its neighboring city, Captiva, which are approximately 300 miles due west of Boca. Prior to Ian, both exemplified the typical leisurely island life with tourists galore, restaurants, bars, laughter, golf carts for local transportation, etc. Sanibel Island and Captiva were two of the cities that bore the brunt of Ian’s powerful winds and its accompanying storm surge at landfall that leveled or seriously damaged almost every standing structure.
On arriving, we were shocked as the area resembled a devastated war zone after a nuclear fallout. Huge trees and local foliage were uprooted and mangled, and rickety shacks to multimillion-dollar homes were ravaged. Very few restaurants and shops were open, gaiety was non-existent, and in general, it was a depressing experience. The highlight of our trip was finding some beautiful white sand beaches that were virtually empty. This gave me free rein to crash through the waves, play fetch with Dad and my frisbee, and just have a blast romping on the sand. The pictures below speak for themselves.