Fort Myers Beach
What would it take to rebuild our Barrier Islands so they could withstand a hurricane as strong as Ian’s? .
That’s also one of the things the Florida Building Commission is trying to answer.
Luckily, everyone WINK News has spoken to, from contractors to real estate professionals to engineers, agrees it can and will be rebuilt. It doesn’t look or feel like the people of Fort Myers Beach knew before the storm.
Joe Orlandini was a Fort Myers Beach builder who survived a hurricane on Barrier Island and lived in a recently completed home.
“I wanted to stay close to my projects and property. I wanted to be able to protect all my content,” says Orlandini. “So I felt like the right decision, we could get the leg and save it.”
However, the storm turned out to be far more violent than Orlandini had imagined.
“We hit 13 feet above sea level,” says Orlandini.
7.5 feet of rain water washed down the ground floor. Orlandini and his two children watched it all from behind second-floor hurricane-proof windows.
“When we were home, right at the peak, I could actually open the door and realize what I was doing and there were five cats outside, but the door When you close it, it feels like a typical thunderstorm with strong winds,” Orlandini said.
But it didn’t look that way because the houses and buildings next door started to float.
“The way I think about it is that part of the wall has come off, part of the roof has come off, and you don’t realize the whole building is gone,” Orlandini said. “After two hours, the building suddenly floats and stops.”
“What I realized then was that when the debris stopped coming, there was nothing left on the beach,” Orlandini said.
Orlandini said his building survived because it was concrete from ground to roof.
“It’s definitely built to absorb that impact,” says Orlandini.
The hurricane-grade glass railing on the second floor was damaged, but that’s the worst damage Orlandini has faced. It’s also something he pointed out to change in future builds.
“It was a pre-fabricated and installed railing that probably wasn’t ideal for the conditions,” Orlandini said.
Orlandini survived the devastation of his beloved neighborhood with WINK News. Though he is saddened, he is sure of a strong redemption.
“Oh no doubt, we’re going to rebuild,” said Orlandini. “We will definitely rebuild.”
The Florida Building Commission, which is responsible for developing and changing building codes, is sponsoring a study to learn more about those who survived the storm and those who didn’t.
Professor David Prevatt of the Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering at the University of Florida is the principal investigator of the study.
“My research shows that rebuilding all structures to the building code, the current building code, the 7th edition, and the next building code makes them more resilient. Okay, but at the same time, placing all this treasure and resources on the coastline probably means you have to give up something. Is that what you want to see in Fort Myers?
Questions real estate expert Denny Grimes discusses with local agents.
“That means there are people who don’t have proper insurance. They may not have had flood insurance, so they can’t rebuild with insurance money. will benefit those who own the land, as it will become more expensive than ever, because now it’s like a whole new discovered island being recreated,” Grimes said. .
Some businesses can’t afford to rebuild, but Grimes believes new businesses will take their place to meet the demands of future residents and visitors to Fort Myers Beach.
https://www.winknews.com/2022/10/14/rebuilding-and-improving-swfl-barrier-islands/ SWFL Barrier Island Reconstruction and Improvement