We have an update from J. (Jennifer) after their trip back to Sanibel. It’s amazing that The Sanibel Causeway, the bridge linking Sanibel to Fort Myers, is scheduled to open for residents in late October.
Still, tears are running down my face as I put together this post. The sludge, the smell, seeing your home and nearly everything in it destroyed, what a terrible blow that must be for J. and for thousands of others.
One way to help J. and the people and businesses of Sanibel is to buy one or more of her books or her 2023 Sanibel Island Mysteries calendar. Half of all the money she receives from sales this month will go to local charities helping survivors and small businesses.
A lot of people in my life will be getting Sanibel mysteries and calendars for Christmas. ~WaterGirl
In case you missed the first post:
After two failed attempts and spending over four hours in traffic to get to Fort Myers, my husband and I arrived on Sanibel late Tuesday morning via a fishing boat (cost? $450). We then had to pick our way over uprooted trees and debris to our house in 90-degree weather.
We arrived at our house to find the exterior looking mostly okay, though the area around our house looked like a bomb had detonated. Which, in a way, it had. And we couldn’t get in. We tried every door and used WD-40, but the doors wouldn’t budge.
We finally got the little door to the guest bathroom open but couldn’t access the house because the pocket door leading to the guest room was sealed shut. So my husband kicked it down.
What we found inside was sickening. Every room, every surface, was covered in foul-smelling sludge. Furniture had been tossed around like it was nothing. Even heavy appliances. It was chaos. Only items in the upper cabinets of the kitchen were okay. Everything else on the first floor, gone, destroyed. Including the artwork on the walls and my car, which we had left in the garage.
We made our way upstairs to our bedroom and, to our vast relief, our little second floor was okay. The clock ticking — the boat captain needed us back on the beach in two hours — we hastily grabbed what we could of our clothes and toiletries, shoved everything into two mud-covered suitcases, and left, exhausted.
The Sanibel Causeway, the bridge linking Sanibel to Fort Myers, is scheduled to open for residents on 10/21, which is incredible, though we just heard the opening may be delayed. And there will be miles-long lines to cross. But as soon as we can, we plan to go to try to salvage what we can.
We have still not heard from an insurance adjuster, but we received some money from FEMA and have been able to save money by crashing at a friend’s unoccupied vacation home. But our house was condemned, and we know we will not receive enough money from insurance to rebuild it. Still, we know we are luckier or more fortunate than many.
If you would like to help me and the people and businesses of Sanibel and those affected by Hurricane Ian, please consider buying one (or more) of my books and/or the 2023 Sanibel Island Mysteries calendar. Half of all monies I receive from October sales will go to local charities helping survivors and small businesses.