Five months later, some things are still the same in Sanibel since Hurricane Ian hit Southwest Florida.
Whether it’s destroyed homes or simply signs letting you know the beach is closed, reminders of Hurricane Ian are bountiful on the Island.
But five months later, the island has come a long way and made plenty of progress. What better way to share that progress with the world than by lighting up Sanibel’s iconic lighthouse?
Shortly after 6 a.m. on Tuesday, the light began shining as bright as ever.
Sanibel resident Rachel Pierce and her family were not going to miss the lighting ceremony.
“This light being lit today is one step closer to getting our island back,” Pierce said. “They said we’re all coming too. And I said okay you gotta get up an hour earlier. And they didn’t care they wanted to be out here. They actually jumped out of bed which is very rare.”
When the hurricane hit Southwest Florida, many asked if the lighthouse survived. While it lost a leg, Ian couldn’t knock over Sanibel’s strong and sturdy lighthouse. But the leg wasn’t gone for long. It’s right back where it belongs, holding up Sanibel’s beacon of light for people to see from miles away.
“It’s a light that’ll keep shining on Sanibel, and we all will be shining on Sanibel,” Sanibel’s mayor Holly Smith said.
People all over the Southwest Florida area have memories with or of the lighthouse. And those who WINK News spoke with who didn’t see the lighting ceremony in the morning they’re eager to see the light shine bright once again.