FORT MYERS, Fla. — Exactly one month ago, Hurricane Ian ripped through Southwest Florida, leaving a trail of devastation that can still be seen. One of the most historic places in Downtown Fort Myers, The Edison and Ford Estates, closed its doors for major debris clean up.
Now, the estates are opening doors back up to the public and celebrating with its first ever Fall Festival on Saturday.
"Thankfully the Estates themselves are in good condition," Lisa Wilson with the Estates said gleefully. "That's because the houses are elevated, so while there was flooding on the property, water getting into the homes was prevented."
As we walked on the ground of the Estates, you couldn't even tell that they had lost one of the iconic trees. "The mahogany wood we're actually going to cut up and sell," Wilson pointed out, just like they did with trees they lost during Irma.
Both of the caretaker houses on the main estate grounds had some damage like flooding and roof damage, Wilson pointed out that while neither those nor the garage are considered historic, "We did move the cars that were in the garage when we found out this was a big one," and those are still in the museum right across the street.
After a month of hard work, the Estates is opening back up with its first-ever Fall Festival on Saturday. "We’ll have food trucks, and we’ll also have music playing so it’ll really be a fun day for everyone to just come out and like I said, it’s kid-friendly, so everyone can bring their kids and have fun," Wilson said.
Although this has been planned for months, Wilson says they didn't know Hurricane Ian would hit. While they're excited to celebrate the grand re-opening, Wilson says the festival has a whole new meaning now. "It’s really a celebration of sorts for us, we’re happy to be able to open and share this event with the public."
Admission to the festival is free, but there will be vendors selling items, and there is discounted admission to the estates. For more information, click here.