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Boca Grande sees damage from Hurricane Ian

Reporter: Claire Galt Writer: Melissa Montoya

Boca Grande saw its share of damage from Ian last week.

Trees are toppled over and some roadways still have standing water.

The Gasparilla Inn has wooden planks placed on its windows and what appears to be a light post has fallen over.

There is a high water sign on Gasparilla Road as you enter Boca Grande.

On Boca Grande, frequent visitors mourn what is now gone.

What appears to be a cell phone tower crashed onto Hudson’s Bakery. Its owner taped a sign to the door that said she was OK, “just remodeling.”

At the Barnacle, the owner and her children have been giving out chainsaw blades since Friday.

Hunter said he and his family got lucky because their home didn’t see a lot of damage, but they’ve been helping the Boca Grande community.

South Beach Restaurant burned down. Its charred remains lay next to palm trees that bear the signs of a fire. The cause of the fire is unclear.

Nicole said she and her son have been visiting Boca Grande for 20 years.

“Just the whole island itself, they are just so welcoming,” Nicole said.

“This was his stop he would come and he is disabled so he wouldn’t wait in line,” Nicole said. “They would let him in and put him at the front of the line and let him eat his french fries.”

Ian’s destruction has devastated her son, Nicole said.

“We are trying to hit his little spots and keep his routine,” she said. “It’s a lot of sadness and a lot of change for my son.”

But, she said, she is hopeful.

“These people are amazing,” Nicole said. “The community itself, they are going to come back,” she said.