Mark Garcia washes his hands outside of his tent home on January 25, 2023 in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Mr. Garcia is using in three tents and a RV pod to live in after his house was destroyed by Hurricane Ian and all that is left is the cement slab where his home once stood. He is hoping to rebuild his home, but for now is living on the concrete slab where his house once stood. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Saturday January 28th was the four month anniversary. The Town of Fort Myers Beach took a catastrophic direct hit from Hurricane Ian on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. Ian was a category 4-plus hurricane. Sustained winds were clocked just a few miles per hour short of a category 5. Bur the real damage wasn’t just the wind. It was the surge. All that water. Like nothing we’d ever seen. Life on Fort Myers Beach changed immediately.

But Southwest Florida is building back. I live in Estero and today the roofer was at my house making repairs. He sent me a picture when he was done. So happy. My friend bought a house on the river that was completely flooded. She’s currently refurbishing it and plans to move in. We’re doing this. But the people on Fort Myers Beach have a much longer way to go.

If you’re not a beach resident, but want to help out by putting some money into the local economy, here’s a list of what’s open.

Getty photographer Joe Raedle came over from Miami to take some pictures at the beach. He captured pictures of life on Fort Myers Beach including rv’s, tents, and pods that people have turned into the temporary homes. The beach will rebuild, it will just take time. Because the people in these pictures – they aren’t going anywhere.

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