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Florida Before And After Photos of Hurricane Ian’s Devastation
Images taken before and after the disaster reveal locations that were once beautiful but are now in ruins.
Several feet of flooding in some neighborhoods. Treeless islands. Marinas that have long since closed to the public, leaving behind just their empty skeletons.
As rescue workers compare before-and-after aerial photographs of the Southwest Florida shore, these horrific vistas are becoming clear. Within 24 hours of making landfall as one of the most violent storms ever to hit the Florida peninsula, the National Ocean Service began taking aerial photographs of the terrible aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
Damage to the Sanibel Causeway
Hurricane-caused storm surge A section of the Sanibel Causeway, which connects the island to the mainland at its westernmost point, was destroyed by Hurricane Ian. Another area that was hit hard by the rising Gulf of Mexico was Causeway Islands Park, located about a mile away. What was once a beautiful island park with white sands may be seen in tatters in aerial photographs.
Legacy Harbour Marina in Fort Myers has been Destroyed
Fort Myers’ Legacy Harbour Marina, once home to Joe’s Crab Shack, is now a ruin. Yachts were stacked like Legos on top of one another on Thursday. The route was lined with discarded wooden docks. Tar and boat fuel filled the air. Pictures taken above illustrate the storm’s destruction of the marina.
Water Engulfs Iona’s Dwellings
Southwest of downtown Fort Myers, the unincorporated settlement of Iona was among the hardest hit by the storm. On Thursday, water was still about a foot deep in the basements of several low-lying homes. Suburban streets and residences are unrecognizable in aerial photos due to water.
More Aerial Operations are in the Works
Sanibel Island, Punta Gorda, and parts of Cape Coral and the Caloosahatchee River going as far as Interstate 75 were among the places surveyed during the initial aerial expedition. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is collaborating with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to decide which regions need to be mapped. According to NOAA flying plans, teams will also fly over Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Springs, and Port Charlotte. As the Ocean Service posted on Twitter, “the schedule for when the fresh footage will become accessible varies widely” despite a crew having flown out again early Friday morning.
The imagery “is a key tool to estimate the extent of the damage wrought by flooding,” as stated by NOAA, even though cell service is still intermittent in some of the hardest-hit locations, such as Fort Myers Beach and San Carlos Island. NOAA claims that the images show which highways are usable, which neighborhoods were devastated, and which communities were likely spared the worst of the storm. The National Geodetic Survey uses a state-of-the-art aircraft, the Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350CER, to take aerial photographs. It has two downward-pointing digital cameras and sensors.
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