Lee County community standing strong after Hurricane Ian’s devastation

Reporter: Taylor Wirtz Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

People lived in Tropicana Sands, Plantation Estates, and other mobile home parks, calling it their piece of Heaven. But, nearly seven months after Hurricane Ian, it’s little more than a pile of twisted metal, similar to may other neighborhoods decimated by the storm.

Tropicana, Plantation Estates, Century 21, and many other mobile home parks close to Fort Myers Beach and the Sanibel Causeway once were the epitome of paradise for snowbirds and retirees alike.

“It was my dream place to live. I absolutely can’t believe it’s gone,” neighbor Sandy Krogan said.

Krogan lived at Plantation Estates for years. She told WINK News the community was second to none. The community included her sister Trudy and her best friend, Mary.

“I’m gonna go wherever they go. They’re gonna go wherever I go,” Beers said.

Tropicana Sands mobile home park. CREDIT: WINK News

And when Hurricane Ian hit, the storm shattered their world.

“I have lost my home. I’ve lost everything. So it’s hard. It’s very hard,” Krogan said.

They’re all living in temporary homes scattered around Lee County while they figure out their next move. But no matter where they end up, their group of friends come back to the same bar across the street, Buster’s Sports Tavern, to keep their sense of community alive.

“A lot of people have gone back home. They’re gone on there are other states all around, you know, east, west, north. They’re all over, but we were hanging in there. Whoever stayed back…we’re hanging together and getting together,” Krogan said.

“We lost our home. I’m not losing my friends,” Beers said. “This is home. This is home.”

Because a neighborhood is more than a group of homes, it’s the people and their hearts who live in them regardless of where they end up.

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