Sanibel hosts Hurricane Ian sunrise remembrance

Reporter: Tiffany Rizzo Writer: Carolina Guzman
Published: Updated:

Many in Southwest Florida are remembering the devastation while also marking progress one year after Hurricane Ian struck the area.

The Sanibel school is back open, the lighthouse is lit again and some favorite bars and restaurants are serving customers again.

Sanibel has come a long way a year after Hurricane Ian, and the Mayor wants the community to know that they are back open.

He said all the beaches are back, and he hopes to see more people come and visit.

While Sanibel has come a long way, much remains left to do.

The debris has all been removed, but there is still a lot of construction going on.

Only 100 of the over 500 businesses on Sanibel are back in operation, and only 1,500 residents out of 6,500 have been able to return to the island.

While work is being done, the area also still doesn’t have any condos back for residents to move into.

“One of the things that I think back on this past year is that this event united our community because everyone, no matter how big or small, was impacted by Hurricane Ian. It changed my life forever,” Sanibel Mayor Richard Johnson said. “I want to see how far we’ve come in one year. I know it’s gonna take many, many years to recover, but yeah, we’re doing fine. This one year means we are strong, and even though it’s not a celebration, it is. It’s a celebration of us and our strength, especially the people on all the islands their strength.”

In a powerful display of resilience, the City of Sanibel hosted a Hurricane Ian Sunrise Remembrance, Thursday, with the mayor and other public speakers at Lighthouse Beach Park.

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