A Lubbock Man Shares Memories Of The Area Impacted By Hurricane Ian
You'll have to forgive me for being a little distracted this week.
As the rest of the nation watched in shock at the devastation in Southwest Florida as a result of the impacts of Hurricane Ian, many folks worried about family and friends from afar. Count me as one of those people with loved ones who were directly in harms way.
I lived in Fort Myers from 2011 until 2014, and I loved it. After I got divorced, my ex-wife and daughters moved back to the area, while I eventually remarried and wound up here in Lubbock. I went back last year to see my oldest daughter get married on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River at a historic home that is probably long gone from the storm.
I still have many friends in the Fort Myers/Cape Coral area, and my dad lived in Punta Gorda before he passed away a few years ago. I've spent lots of time on Fort Myers Beach, enjoying the little restaurants and shops that lined the beach, having cold beers and fresh seafood, before hanging out on the pier just to enjoy the view.
This was the end of the Fort Myers Beach Pier. Lots of sightseers and fishermen. It was a glorious place to catch a view of a manatee or stingray in the clear water.
And now...it's all gone.
I feel helpless and sick.
Just incredible. I also found out that the building I used to work in suffered "catastrophic damage", which is mind-boggling as I was told when I started to work there that the building was "hurricane safe".
I guess not.
This is a great reminder of the power of nature, and also the fact that life is precious. Things and buildings can be replaced, but people can't. If anything, it's a reminder to never take anything for granted and know that as bad as the day may seem for you, there are those who are dealing with much greater challenges that are out of their control.
I have been in contact with my ex-wife and daughter via text (cell service is still awful and the power is expected to be out for many days), and they are okay with minimal property damage, and I am grateful. But there are many others who are not as fortunate, and my heart is heavy for them.
If you'd like to donate and help those affected by the disaster, you can click here and give to the American Red Cross.