A couple survives Hurricane Ian by riding out the storm inside their Fort Myers Beach home. That house is still standing.
Repairs to the home are needed, and they’re being done, but the couple watched as other homes crumbled.
The water was high, and in their home, it was lapping up onto the first landing of the stairs, 17 feet off the ground.
Kim and Jim Davis trusted their 18-month-old bayfront Fort Myers Beach home, but when the water burst through their front door and inched higher.
They realized Ian would suddenly offer them front-row seats in a merger between the Gulf of Mexico and the bay,
“We sat right here running from window to window and front to back, watching the houses go, and cars come by, and boats go by,” said Kim Davis. “Out in the bay. Yes. I mean, just here we saw 6, 7?”
They watched and waited as they held their breath, praying the water would recede.
“It was up to where the wood is where you start seeing the green, then once we started seeing the concrete blocks again, we knew it was over,” said Kim.
Before it was over, though, their neighbor’s house from across Estero Boulevard smashed into theirs, then floated into the bay.
“It was all really just chipped and broken, nothing major from when the house across the street hit us.”
Jim and Kim say things would have been much worse if they didn’t stay for the storm.
“So if we weren’t here, the mold and mildew that we would have had to put up with. So it’s a double-edged sword. We stayed. We shouldn’t have. But I’m glad we did.”
They weren’t wrong to trust their newly built home, but would they stay again? Not a chance. They do believe, though, that because they stayed, they were able to get help fixing their home faster after the storm.