How much money will it cost for Lee County to recover from Hurricane Ian?

Reporter: Amy Galo Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Lee County Commissioners are trying to answer a big question, how far along is Lee County when it comes to recovering from Hurricane Ian?

The storm swiftly caused devastating damage to Southwest Florida. And 158 days later, there are plans for the future, but how much do those plans cost?

“It’s very important that we help bring the community back after Hurricane Ian,” Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman said.

So far, Lee County has spent a whopping $59,290,600 with more than $200,000,000 to go.

Money spent in Lee County recovering from Hurricane Ian. CREDIT: LEE COUNTY

“It’s staggering to see the amount of money that we have spent so far,” Hamman said.

Hamman expects Lee County to spend $150,000,000 solely on debris cleanup when all is said and done. Then you also have to consider restoring the beaches, parks, bridges, traffic lights, and more.

“This is going to cost far more than any lee county taxpayer could afford to clean up,” Hamman said.

The money for all this is coming from the federal government, starting with FEMA.

“There’s a process where the federal government actually comes in and reimburses you after a disaster. So we need to make sure that we follow that process to try and make available as much reimbursement to our community as possible,” Lee County Commissioner Mike Greenwell said.

That means the timetable for getting the beaches, parks, bridges, traffic lights, and everything else done is impossible to finalize. Greenwell told WINK News getting money can be a painstaking ordeal, but it’s necessary.

“I think it’s going to be a process, you know, it’s going to come back and steps and in phases,” Greenwell said.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.