FORT MYERS, Fla. — Business owners in downtown Fort Myers are slowly picking up the pieces left behind by Hurricane Ian. The owner of Green Cup Cafe is dealing with more than just the loss of his business.
Robby Podgorski lives in Dean Park and had to escape from his home as rising water grew higher in his house.
"Jumped out the door and swam over to the neighbor’s balcony," Podgorski said. "We're just so fortunate, so lucky, so grateful."
He lost his house and cars. In the back of his mind later on: Green Cup Cafe.
"We knew that if our home was flooded, we invest ourselves in downtown, we knew most likely our business was equally as damaged," Podgorski said. "When we first walked in it was probably the worst imaginable scenario."
The floor was covered in mud, cooler moved around and the flood line about five feet tall in some areas. However, through tragedy comes strength from yourself and others.
"The community is incredible," he said.
On Sunday, 40 people came by to help clean up. About half of the people Podgorksi didn't know.
"To see that much love get generated from that much destruction was just outwardly," he said.
There's a long road ahead for southwest Florida. He says as a community, we're going to come back from this. Podgorski says he plans on sticking around.
"Especially after seeing the community come out like this. It is unarguable that we will stay," he said.
Once he rebuilds, Podgorski said he plans on giving back to the community — a community that's stepping up for him.