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City of Fort Myers provides update on Hurricane recovery efforts as debris removal reaches new high

Posted at 10:22 PM, Nov 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-21 22:22:22-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — From debris removal to small businesses looking to reopen their doors, the City of Fort Myers provided an update on the progress of recovery after Hurricane Ian.

One of those areas highly impacted by Ian is the Fort Myers Yacht Basin. While it’s remained closed in that time, we did hear a brief report on what could be coming soon.

"The city is actually moving extremely fast and getting our city back to a sense of normalcy.”

It’s a promising evaluation for the City by Fire Chief Tracy McMillion nearly two months after Ian.

"Some of our main focuses are to look at getting our parks back open, look at getting our golf courses back open, debris mitigation continuing on," said McMillion. "We’re actually looking to continue with the Yacht Basin assessment.”

The Yacht Basin where countless boats have been left abandoned at docks.

“There was a lot of damage done there," said Peter Bieniek, Director of Public Works for the City of Fort Myers. "A lot of damage that you’ll never see.”

Damage that has been done to the under docks, electrical, and even plumbing. Factors that are all being carefully dissected and reported back to City Council.

"We actually have marine divers on scene right now doing a deep dive and looking at the condition of the yacht basin," says McMillion. "To be able to get that and make sure it’s safe for all those that are residents and all those that may actually be utilized in that.”

And as the Yacht Basin continues to be assessed debris pick up carries on. As more than 540,000 cubic yards of debris has been picked up already.

“Which, when you think about it, is a three-foot by three-foot by three-foot square box," said Bieniek. "Now put 540,000 of them together in a run and it’ll give you an idea of how much we’ve actually picked up which is a lot of material.”

A lot of material already down but plenty more, the city realizes, to go.

"They know we’re working hard for them and that they’re getting what they want from us and that their lives go back normal," says Bieniek. "That’s a lot.”

And Bieniek also said debris removal throughout the city could wrap up as quickly as a month from now.