FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 5, 2022) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s 55th chief of engineers visited the Fort Myers Beach, Florida area to tour the damage from Hurricane Ian, a ferocious storm that struck the southwestern coast a week ago, unleashing widespread destruction of homes and businesses.
Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, visited the Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee, took an aerial tour of the hurricane damage over Fort Myers Beach and received various briefings from his Emergency Management Operations team on the support the Corps of Engineers is providing.
“Our hearts go out to the people of Florida,” said Spellmon. “Our priority is life, health and safety of all who are affected by Hurricane Ian.”
Florida was pummeled and flooded as a massive Hurricane Ian came ashore Wednesday, Sept. 28, bringing pounding storm surge, powerful wind and relentless rainfall from the southwestern coast up along the I-4 passage and into the Carolinas.
Spellmon said USACE is working in partnership with the local, state and federal response to Hurricane Ian. More than 800 USACE personnel and contractors are deployed and engaged, on the ground in Florida supporting emergency response operations such as temporary emergency power, infrastructure assessments and Operation Blue Roof with local, state, and federal partners in the affected areas.
“I wanted to get a first hand look on how we are getting after Gov. DeSantis’ priority for FEMA and the Corps,” said Spellmon. “For us that has been the provision of temporary emergency power, the work with water supply down in Lee County, getting the Blue Roof Program stood up and water management on the Kississimmee River Bason and infrastructure assessment.
Brig. Gen. Daniel Hibner, South Atlantic Division commander; and Col. James Booth, Jacksonville District commander, joined the Chief of Engineers touring various operation locations in Lee County.
Fort Myers Beach, along with Lee County’s other barrier islands, took the brunt of Hurricane Ian’s battering on Florida’s coastline. The storm, a Category 4 when it made landfall, sent 150 mph winds and a towering storm surge thriving beach businesses, damaged boats and left miles of debris against the shore in its aftermath.
(The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District on the district’s website at https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleDistrict and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JaxStrong.