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Fort Myers Beach resident reunited with lost family photos after Hurricane Ian

More than a year later, the prized pictures come back
Posted at 10:05 PM, Dec 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-29 00:19:37-05

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — In a neighborhood off North Street on Fort Myers Beach, the aftermath of Hurricane Ian still lingers. Last year, the powerful storm ravaged homes and scattered cherished possessions across the island.

For Kimberly York, a local photographer born and raised here, the hurricane meant the loss of invaluable family memories captured in photographs.

York's family has a long history on the beach, filled with countless moments of joy and togetherness, many of which were preserved in photos. Before the hurricane struck, she gave a bin of these precious photos to her father for sort.

Tragically, the storm swept the bin away, leaving York without the only copies of these cherished memories, ranging from baby showers to photos of relatives who have passed.

Reflecting on the loss, York shared, "Many, many years of countless memories, just all of our family. I thought about these pictures every single night since the hurricane, and it's a miracle."

The miracle York refers to is the unexpected return of her photos, thanks to the efforts of a neighbor.

Beth Charles, who found the photo bin, described the moment of discovery. "I was just so thrilled that it got back to the person it belonged to. There were a couple of things that got back to me that were sentimental, and I was hoping it meant just as much to them."

Charles had attempted to find the bin's owner through various local social media groups. Her attempts paid off when she recognized a familiar face in one of the photos, leading to the reunion of the York family with their priceless memories.