Ocean's Reach Beachfront Condominiums were one of our favorite places to stay on Sanibel. Beautiful views of the Gulf from your balcony for your morning coffee, and just a short walk to Coconuts next door at Casa Ybel for an afternoon refreshment and beachside snack.
So after Hurricane Ian came storming through on September 28, many of us were wondering how Ocean's Reach fared, and if they would be back so we could return to this beautiful place to make many more lifelong memories.
Ocean's Reach Sanibel Hurricane Ian Damage
Hurricane Ian damage to Ocean's Reach (Before and After)
Aerial view before and after of Ocean's Reach Resort
Since we were regular visitors to Ocean's Reach, we received their email newsletter about the status of their resort. I figured the best updates to give you all would be the ones we received straight from them, so I am posting below their photos and updates.
Ocean's Reach Condos One Month After Hurricane Ian
Amazingly, our sign survived Hurricane Ian — It’s indeed a “sign” of our resilience!
Yes, that’s an actual tree that flew into this unit — Roots and all!
Starting to clean up …
… And there’s an awful lot to clean up!
It’s crazy what survived the storm (… and I don’t mean us ladies!)
Ocean’s Reach is cleaning up nicely …
… Very nicely indeed!
One month later and it seems as though the world has already moved on from Hurricane Ian, but for those of us who live and work on Sanibel Island, our efforts have just begun.
It’s difficult to describe what we’ve been through the past 30 days; the initial stages of shock and grief have been replaced by physically grueling days, colossally wide emotional swings and just sheer levels of exhaustion.
The scale and scope of rebuilding has begun to settle in.
High piles of debris line every street of the island, containing the same heartbreaking combination of drenched furniture, battered appliances and well-loved keepsakes. Cars have ended up in pools; boats have ended up in trees; sheets of rooftop metal have ended up impaled everywhere.
Precious mementos are being found miles from their homes, as if engaged in the cruelest type of treasure hunt, while so many others have been simply washed away to parts unknown.
“It’s like a bomb went off,” you hear over and over again as you look over the once-pristine island landscape that now looks borderline apocalyptic.
Islanders have always had a great respect for Mother Nature. After experiencing 155 mph winds and up to a 12-foot storm surge, that respect has grown exponentially.
And the sprint of survival has given way to the marathon of rebuilding.
Temporary repairs to the Sanibel Causeway were completed with breakneck speed, allowing vehicular access to the island for the first time ten days ago.
Crews in the hundreds are working rapidly to restore power and water, which are expected to be available island-wide within the next few weeks.
The Sanibel School has relocated to a facility off-island, allowing children to stay connected with their friends and teachers.
Local churches and organizations have been providing everything from ice and water to hot meals, showers and charging stations. Sewer and internet services are still in the early rebuilding stages, but in a huge step, Jerry’s Supermarket re-opened just days ago, marking another milestone in the island’s recovery.
At Ocean’s Reach, we have been moving quickly to stabilize what we can and begin the long road of demolition and reconstruction. Structural assessments and detailed moisture mapping have been completed. Contractors have been hired and clean-up work is well along. Insurance adjusters and remediation experts have also been on the scene.
Our roofs have held up fairly well, but not surprisingly, the massive storm surge has decimated lower level units, carports, amenities and our office building.
Demolition is scheduled to begin later this week where needed.
We fully plan to rebuild and reopen “better than ever.”
Support Ocean's Reach Staff
For those of you who have supported the GoFundMe campaign for Ocean’s Reach staff, we want to send out our heartfelt appreciation. It means more to us than you’ll ever know. If you have not yet had a chance to check it out, please click here.
Your countless emails and letters of support have meant a great deal to all of us. We may not have been able to respond to them, but just knowing that our “Ocean’s Reach family” is behind us gives us all strength to continue to rebuild and revitalize our island paradise.
We look forward to welcoming you back in the future and remain,
Stay Updated about Ocean's Reach Recovery and Reopening
I will try to keep this post updated with any new information about Ocean's Reach, so check back! You can also follow updates on their website HERE and their Facebook page HERE.
Share your Stories, Photos, Updates about your Business, & Volunteer Opportunities
If you have a personal story about the hurricane, and/or photos or videos of the damage and recovery efforts that you'd like to share on this site, please submit them HERE. I would also like to know about volunteer opportunities so I can share them with others.
If you have a business on SanCap, we would also love to stay updated on your recovery progress. Just let us know HERE!
Support Hurricane Ian Relief Efforts
Sanibel Island is special in our hearts as well as many others, who are heartbroken over the devastation that Hurricane Ian brought this friendly little island in SW Florida.
Living in southwest Florida ourselves, and Sanibel being our "home away from home," we wanted a way to help those impacted by Hurricane Ian to rebuild and come back stronger and more beautiful than ever, so that families can continue to be able to create wonderful lifelong memories in this little slice of paradise.
$5 of every shirt purchased will go towards SW Florida relief efforts at: https://www.fishofsancap.org, https://destinyunitedrelief.org and https://mealsofhope.org. These are all reputable organizations that we personally know, have worked with, and highly recommend.
Click HERE to purchase. 💜 Thank you!
Where is Ocean's Reach Located?
2230 Camino del Mar Dr Sanibel, FL 33957
As I read this newsletter I hear the courage that comes thru, the hope for a better tomorrow and I applaud all involved in the recovery God Bless
Feb. 8th, 2024 will be Carol & Jim’s 60th Wedding Anniversary. We would like to spend that special time at Ocean’s Reach. Now if Unit 2×1 is available, that would be great, but we will deal with that issue when the time comes.
How much of the Sanibel that we knew and loved, will be open? We can only hope that dinner at the Bar at Doc Ford’s, is still an option. Happy Hour oysters at Mud Bugs. Lunch at Trader’s Two. A Grouper Sandwich and beer anywhere.
Keep the line of communication open and we hope to see you Feb. 3rd 2024 and say goodbye March 2nd.