FORT MYERS BEACH, FL — For the first time since Hurricane Ian left its devastating mark on Fort Myers Beach, people living or working there can go to a grocery store on the island!
The Publix, located at 4791 Estero Blvd. on Fort Myers Beach, hosted its re-opening celebration today after is was badly damaged during the storm in September.
The store, like many homes and businesses on Fort Myers Beach was flooded by devastating storm surge. The Florida grocery chain has been working to rebuild since then.
The layout of the store is essentially the same for people who shopped there before Ian, but, there are a few changes.
Customers will notice a new layout to the produce department and updates to other areas of the store but representatives say it should feel very familiar.
The first 300 customers that arrive at the grand re-opening on May 25th will receive a care package from Publix. Inside, there will be Publix plastic cutlery, napkins, plates, storage bags, disinfecting wipes and cups.
They are basic but important items for people who lost everything and are still working to get back on their feet.
The “Good Together” truck, a part of Publix and Publix Charities, is also parked in front of the newly renovated store.
Workers are handing out boxed lunches to construction workers on Fort Myers Beach that stop by. It’s one way for Publix to show the worker's gratitude as they are helping to rebuild.
It’s the only grocery store on Fort Myers Beach and after 8 months of having to drive elsewhere to shop this sign of recovery on the beach is a welcome one.
The CVS Pharmacy down the road was the only drug store on Fort Myers Beach when Ian hit.
The store located at 7001 Estero Blvd was destroyed during Ian.
Fox 4 Anchor, Amy Wegmann, reached out to see when residents can expect it to open. Senior Manager of Retail Communications for CVS Pharmacy, Matt Blanchette, told her they should be up and running by the end of the year.
“We’re committed to our customers and patients in Fort Myers Beach and plan to rebuild our Estero Boulevard store. We’re in contact with the City of Fort Myers Beach about the site and, if our plans are approved, hope to reopen by the end of 2023.”
Signs of recovery everywhere you look, not only on Fort Myers Beach but across SWFL as we work to put Ian behind us.