Remembering the people taken by Hurricane Ian

Reporter: Nicole Gabe Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

Hurricane Ian was devastating for Southwest Florida. In its wake was unimaginable destruction. Among that destruction were the stories of loved ones from across our area who didn’t survive the storm.

Map of Hurricane Ian deaths.

Blue, green, pink, and purple. On the map above, they are the colors representing deaths that, for one reason or another, happened because of Hurricane Ian.

There are 149 people, with 149 stories. Not just statistics on a map but loved ones who were taken too soon.

One of the victims is Martha Campbell on Hercules Drive in Fort Myers Beach.

Martha Campbell. (Credit: Shared with WINK News)

“I was in a tree, and I watched her house gradually fall to the ground under the water and knew she was in there. But there was nothing, of course, we could do at the time,” said Bob Campbell, Martha’s brother.

Another victim is Nichelle Harris. She was staying with friends for her birthday at a motel on Seminole Way and drowned.

“There just wasn’t time to really, you know, to really prepare for this,” said Jo Ann Knobloch.

Then there’s the husband who drifted away in front of his wife’s eyes after being hit with a flying piece of debris. He was found in a canal four days later.

Fort Myers Beach may be the hardest-hit area in Southwest Florida, but it’s not the only one. There are loved ones in every Southwest Florida county who died because of Hurricane Ian.

In Charlotte County, nine people lost their lives. In Collier, 10, in Desoto, one, and in Hendry County, two people died.

Lee County saw the most deaths, with 72 people who died as a result of Hurricane Ian.

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