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Sanibel business owners clean up after Eta


The cleanup continues after Hurricane Eta impacted Southwest Florida with very little notice.

Business owners on Sanibel are working quickly in hopes things will be back to normal for vacationers this weekend.

At Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages on Sanibel, workers spent Thursday shoveling a lot of sand.

“Every now and then we’d come out on the porch and take pictures and videos and we sat on the porch. The sound of it was just amazing,” said Michelle Albert, who is staying in one of the cottages.

It was her first hurricane.

“We woke up probably around six or six-thirty and the water was kind of rolling up and we’re watching it. Then we said we should probably move our cars.”

Eventually, she had to move from one cottage to another because the storm surge kept pushing sand against the cottages.

Bill O’Connel, who visits every year, had a similar story.

“I was staying in this cabin and we could sit at this table and sit down and eat.”

But the surge kept coming, piling up the sand.

“Different landscape this morning. There’s at least three feet more of sand and we’ve lost a little bit more of beach this time. Caught me off guard, that’s for sure.”

Despite the hurricane’s force, most of the cottages came out of the storm OK with just some ripped screens.

“We got the guys to fill sandbags and protect the cottages, so we’ve done this a few times before in the past and I think we’re getting pretty good at it,” said Rick Boyd, general manager.

Eta left guests with a pretty good story to tell.

“We just seem to make good memories on our vacation and this is one of them!” Albert said.

Boyd said cleanup should be done by the weekend.