NewsLocal NewsLee County


Spring Break on Fort Myers Beach post Hurricane Ian

Posted at 8:21 PM, Mar 14, 2023

FORT MYERS BEACH, FLA — Tonight we are asking the question... what does Spring break look like here in Southwest Florida?

It's been 6 months since Hurricane Ian and much is still closed on Fort Myers Beach. For some, it may be too soon to see the beaches packed but, people are still coming to the island.

As people trek down with many out-of-state license plates, some people are shocked to see what the area looks like.

Emily Wall with Paradise Parasail Inc. has been trying to answer questions about the aftermath of the hurricane since it has already been six months. But people are asking different questions now like... where the bathrooms are? Where can I buy beach towels? And where can we eat?

Despite the nails and metal pieces in the sand, the dead fish from red tide, the parking lots are packed with out-of-state license plates, and the beaches are packed as well.

For people seeing this all for the first time since Hurricane Ian -

"I was kind of shocked just to see everything destroyed it’s shocking and upsetting seeing everything just gone," says Amelia Klotz who's on Spring Break from New York.

Carol Barberi who's visiting from Chicago added, "We’re not seeing anything open — I don’t even know where the people and the kids are staying."

Many tell me they are renting, staying in Naples, or found hotels in Cape Coral and Fort Myers but none of the people I spoke with are actually staying overnight on Fort Myers Beach.

"It is a little upsetting because we saw the whole beach a few years ago and last year and it was beautiful down here but now there’s a lot of wreckage," says Sarah Boyce.

The few businesses that are open tell me they are doing okay. "Wasn’t expecting us to even be open at this point but I’m glad we are and people are coming and supporting all the local businesses which are pretty cool," explains Emily Wall with Paradise Parasail Inc.

Despite all the devastation - most trying to make the best out of their spring break.

"Being able to come here and see this I know there’s a lot of wreckage and stuff but still the warm weather and the beachy feeling," Jenna George.

"It’s going to take a long time to recover it’s very very sad. It’s even worse than I thought it was going to be I thought some businesses might be open or some of the hotels that didn’t sustain that much damage might be open but we’re not seeing anything open," says Ray and Carol Barberi.

Just recently a doctor told us in an interview regarding Red Tide that people should wear shoes when out on our beaches because you just don't know what you can be stepping on from Hurricane Ian.