New data reveals peak of storm surge height during Ian

Hurricane Ian flooding
Posted at 6:49 PM, Dec 12, 2022

New data reveals just how high the water rose, as Hurricane Ian moved ashore. Coastal Lee county sustained the highest storm surge, reaching 13 to 14 feet on Sanibel and Fort Myers Beach but many areas well inland experienced storm surge flooding, as well.

Ian storm surge in Lee county

These storm surge heights are based upon high water marks on homes and buildings measured and assessed by USGS hydrologists and NWS meteorologists.

While we expect high storm surge levels along the coast, it reached well inland. 24 miles up the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers Shores, east of I-75, the river rose just shy of 8 feet, forcing several feet of water into nearby homes.

Ian storm surge in inland Lee Co

Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm’s winds. This is historically the deadliest part of a hurricane, and most of Ian’s fatalities were contributed to drowning.

In Collier county, Vanderbilt Beach and Barefoot Beach Blvd. experienced surge of nearly 12 feet. Marco Island’s peak surge climbed to just shy of 7.5 feet. Farther inland in North Naples near US-41, high water marks indicate storm surge was around 8 feet.

Ian storm surge in Collier County

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