|Good morning to all — Happy Columbus Day! It will be one month tomorrow that we were hit by Hurricane Irma so I thought it would be a good time to update you all on the latest happenings in Irma’s aftermath.
The cleanup continues — according to today’s Naples Daily News, it might take up to six months before the last of the downed trees and brush are picked up and taken away. The initial estimate of the amount of debris from Irma is 4 to 5 MILLION cubic yards — that is FOUR TIMES the amount of debris that was left in the wake of Hurricane Wilma. A perfect example of this is Naples Park which Bob and I drove through yesterday just to check out the progress. The piles of debris along the sides of the streets are like mini-mountains…..so high, in fact, that it is almost dangerous to drive through the area. The sight is staggering.
Following are some notable locations which were badly damaged in the storm:
If you remember in my last “Greetings,” I told you that the Ritz Carlton Beach Resort had opened…..that was September 28. Two days later, our building and several other buildings around us were suddenly without power again because the Ritz had somehow blown a transformer. Fortunately, we had power restored in a short period of time but the Ritz was dark for nearly 18 additional hours. I have learned since then that the bottom floor of the Spa had serious damage from the storm. The bar by the pool was destroyed and there was water damage in the hotel itself. The Ritz is open again now, thankfully….but some floors are still not in use.
The Ritz Golf Resort has been a temporary home for about 80 residents of Bentley Village in North Naples as that senior living facility suffered significant damage from Irma.
La Playa will not reopen until November. I do not know the extent of any damage, but there were a number of ServPro Restoration trucks there yesterday.
From just driving by, it looks like the Turtle Club is open which, to me, is amazing.
After talking to some friends who live at the Glenview in Pelican Bay, a tornado ripped the air conditioning units off of the roof during Irma. Many of the residents are living elsewhere until repairs can be made.
The Naples Grande Hotel still has a gaping hole in its roof. According to a reliable source, only 40 of the hotel’s rooms were NOT damaged and they will not reopen until late December or early January of 2018.
A favorite restaurant of ours, Bleu Provence, took in TWO FEET of water due to a huge wave breaching the restaurant. Jacque and his family ad working hard to try and be open by October 16.
Bay Colony Golf Course lost over 1,000 trees in the storm, but looks to reopen on October 17. Bob Harden could not be happier.
The Hollywood 20 Theaters — the ones close to Costco — are closed due to water damage. So are 2 theaters in Coconut Point….same reason.
Here is some good news — we have enjoyed the company of friends at Sea Salt (best Caesar salad EVER & Third Street South is BUSTLING with activity), Cibao Grille and True Food Kitchen (the new fall menu is AWESOME).
Those of us who were here during Irma are still a bit shell-shocked 29 days after she hit. But it is SO GOOD to reconnect with friends and welcome those who are returning to our bruised but wonderful paradise. Hopefully with my next “Greetings,” I can get back to what is new and exciting…and newsworthy around the area. Until then —