Sanibel reopens to the public for the first time since Ian

Reporter: Asha Patel Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

Monday morning marked another reopening after Hurricane Ian. Sanibel Island is now open to anyone who wants to visit.

The reopening comes just a day after the tolls on the Sanibel Causeway were reinstated.

Sanibel’s recovery progress includes 80% of right-of-way debris being removed from the East Periwinkle Way bridge.

City officials said any increased traffic on the island would not interfere with the Florida Department of Transportation’s causeway construction progress. The island also has enough police security as other communities continue to send police officers to assist.

Not everyone is happy about the decision to reopen the island. Hundreds of Sanibel residents wrote to city council members about their concerns with letting non-residents back on the island because many are still recovering Ian.

If you do plan on heading to the island. You are asked to be mindful that the island is still in recovery mode.

Sanibel Mayor Holly Smith said, “I can tell you we’ve had a lot of input in many different ways. And we’ve really had to weigh everything.”

Mayor Smith also added that people visiting the island should know that the beaches are not open because they’re not safe at this point.

The city’s curfew will remain in effect between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. every day, and there will be a checkpoint in place at the causeway during those hours.

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