SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. — Rebuilding from the rubble, one year later. That is what you will find on Sanibel Island today, one year after Hurricane Ian decimated portions of the world-renowned destination on Florida’s west coast.
The storm reduced many of the homes, businesses and resorts on the island down to fragments of brick, branches, wood and memories.
Homeowner Jim Canner shared how he’s still waiting for insurance to help him fix multiple leaks in his home.
“It’s tough. It’s tough with insurance companies, we don’t get dispositions. We’re getting the run-around, same with contractors,” he told us recently.
Homeowner Heather Pak, who owns a plumbing business with her husband, is also dealing with insurance and contractor delays.
“What’s been your biggest frustration,” asked Reporter Katie LaGrone.
“The insurance companies and just trying to find someone who will do the work,” Pak said. “We’re in the business too, we’re swamped,” she said.
Recently, reporter Katie LaGrone and Photojournalist Matthew Apthorp went back to the island for the first time since they visited with a homeowner returning to her home for the first time after the hurricane one year ago.
LaGrone and Apthorp spoke with homeowners, business owners, tourists and the island’s Chamber of Commerce who describes some of the biggest challenges moving forward as the island continues to rebuild from the devastation.
Watch LaGrone and Apthorp’s raw, real, firsthand view of the pain that remains and the progress that’s slowly offering people there...hope.