Our little island was ground zero for Irma

Until yesterday, most people had never heard of Marco Island, a quiet little island town on the edge of the Everglades in Southwest FL. It became famous yesterday as the site of Irma’s mainland landfall. It was struck by 130 mph winds and storm surge of several feet.

We’ve lived there for 8 years, but I’ve been visiting there on family vacations since I was 5, when the island was undeveloped and wild. It holds a huge place in my life, and in the hearts of my family, from my 90 year old mom (who evacuated with us on Friday) to our youngest grandkids.

We were under mandatory evacuation, so Grace and I, along with my mother, left Friday morning. We haven’t heard any news about our house. Photos and videos from nearby show a lot of roof damage, storm surge flooding, trees down, broken windows, wind- and rain-damaged interiors, power lines down, etc., but not catastrophic destruction. The coming days will be challenging. (Just getting back won’t be easy – no flights, etc., etc.)

Thanks to all who have expressed concern for us. Every spare minute this weekend, I was checking the streaming video from local TV stations (funny how you come to love your local weather people!) – and I now understand how folks in Houston felt just days ago when they wanted to get back ASAP, not only to check on their homes, but simply to be there, in solidarity with their community. “We’re in this together” and “We’ll get through this together” become almost sacramental words.

We’re in this together, and we’ll get through this together – not just with Irma, but with so many of the storms we face.

Here are a few shots from our area during storm surge … the waters have receded since these photos were taken yesterday.