There’s always a silver lining

We’ve been glued to the TV, watching as Hurricane Ian devastated our old Southwest Florida neighborhoods (SWFL).

The storm winds of 140+ mph destroyed roads and the Sanibel Causeway. There was so much water. You could see cars with water up to the roof. The rebuilding efforts will be measured in 10’s of billions of dollars and take years to complete.

I was reminded of the damage done by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. New Orleans was submerged when the levees broke, and the Missippi River flooded the low-lying areas. Then, the wind did even more damage.

A few years later, in 2012, we took a trip to N.O. and went to a kosher restaurant in the Jewish neighborhood of Metairie. By then, the area had been repaired, and we had to search for signs of damage. I spoke with the restaurant owner, and I was surprised when she said, “Katrina was the best thing that ever happened to us”!

She went on to say that before Katrina, nobody cared about the area, and it was in decline. But after the storm generated publicity, investors and money poured in, and the area was revitalized.

While it may take a while, I bet SWFL will experience the same thing. There’s tons of money out there looking for a place to invest. They’ll be looking for damaged properties to buy at a discount, to be redeveloped. In a few years, people will say, “Ian was the best thing to happen to us.”

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