Florida drone captures beached boats, destroyed Sanibel Causeway | USA TODAY


Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc on Sanibel, Florida, destroying a causeway that cut off access to the barrier island’s 6,300 residents.

RELATED: Post-tropical cyclone Ian batters South Carolina, causes storm surge https://bit.ly/3SMwKeR

Fort Myers Beach, along with Lee County’s other barrier islands, took the brunt of Hurricane Ian’s assault on Florida’s coastline. The storm, a Category 4 when it made landfall, sent 150 mph winds and a towering storm surge tearing through the town’s center.

Fort Myers, with its population of more than 92,000, is a popular city for tourists and spring breakers. The nearby small coastal town of Fort Myers Beach, filled with beachside bars and hotels and resorts, sits on skinny Estero Island, which left it more vulnerable as Ian pounded the region. The town has a population of nearly 6,000.

The cities and towns there were some of the first lashed by the storm. Other areas of the state are still seeing heavy rains and haven’t broken free of Ian’s grip yet. Local officials, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and President Joe Biden say the storm is likely to be historically deadly and costly.

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