Drywall giveaway for repairs on Fort Myers Beach in wake of Ian

Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Picking up all the pieces after a devastating storm like Ian can take a long time, and a large portion of Fort Myers Beach is still destroyed and needs to be rebuilt.

But there is help out there. People are waiting in long lines getting drywall put back in their homes.

7,000 sheets of drywall were given away in Lee County, 2,000 of which were on Fort Myers Beach.

Drywall distribution on Fort Myers Beach. CREDIT: WINK News

WINK News spoke with George DaBrowski, who waited in line to get some of the drywall.

“I got here a little after 8 o’clock this morning,” DaBrowski said.

Demonstrating unwavering patience, DaBrowski waited for three hours to get the drywall. Even so, after waiting for three hours, the outcome wasn’t so ceremonious.

“It won’t be today,” DaBrowski said.

That’s the bottom line because of the permitting process, people’s homes simply not being ready for it, or even both. Most of the drywall given away won’t be installed on Wednesday. But Adam Kennedy, who also waited in line for drywall, said he was getting close.

“My father and my son get down here, so we’ll have some more hands and throw it all together,” Kennedy said.

Drywall put onto a truck bed on Fort Myers Beach. CREDIT: WINK News

So, WINK News gave him a hand, and together, we stored the drywall in his place with his neighbors together.

Sometimes to rebuild, the first step is tearing it down.

“We got it all torn apart. And then we can finally throw it all back together,” Kennedy said.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to rebuilding Fort Myers Beach. Every property and every family situation is different to one degree or another.

Some people WINK News spoke with said they can put the drywall in their homes in February. While others said, it would sit in their homes, getting stacked up for months.

The bottom line is they’re thankful for the free giveaway. Unsurprisingly, all the drywall up for grabs was quickly given out; all it took was three hours.

Global Empowerment Mission and Rotary International District 6960 donated the 7,000 sheets of drywall, mattresses and supplies.

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