Fort Myers Beach Mayor Dan Allers reflects on 1 year after Hurricane Ian

Reporter: Michael Hudak Writer: Nicholas Karsen
Published: Updated:

One year after Hurricane Ian destroyed most of Fort Myers Beach, Mayor Dan Allers looks back on how the devastation made residents stronger.

“We watched it firsthand, out the window of a friend’s house. [We] watched the water come up and didn’t think it was ever going to stop,” said Allers. “I’m just thinking in my head, ‘the island’s gone.'”

Shortly after the storm, then-councilman Allers aided recovery efforts.

“Thinking about the people that I knew that had stayed behind that probably weren’t going to be… were clinging for life, based on some of the houses I know that they were in,” said Allers, “the first thing I saw was a big house and a very large boat sitting in the street.”

The initial recovery period was rough, with Allers admitting to communications being less than stellar.

“That first town council meeting, the second week of October, was contentious, and people were upset,” said Allers.

Despite the rough patch, Allers needed to keep up hope for not only himself but the residents of Fort Myers Beach as well.

“I think the number one thing we’ve accomplished as a town is providing that hope. Initially, after the storm, it was about the town’s never going to be back, the town’s going to go broke, the town is going to go, whatever, and you just do what you have to do to make it,” said Allers.

Allers remains hopeful that the upcoming years of Fort Myers Beach will be met with everyone’s heads collectively held high.

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