The Publix Super Market in Fort Myers Beach has reopened after a months-long closure post-Hurricane Ian. With repairs complete, the store is now open and will be operating under modified hours, according to WINK.
On the morning of Sept. 28, 2022, Ian intensified into a Category 4 hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, just shy of a Category 5 storm. As it came ashore near Cayo Costa, Fla., Ian tied the record for the fifth-strongest hurricane on record to strike the U.S. It was the strongest hurricane to hit Florida since Michael in 2018. It also was the first Category 4 hurricane to impact Southwest Florida since Charley in 2004.
Records also show that the storm surge hit with an unprecedented 12 to 18 feet above ground level, which was reported along the southwestern Florida coast. In particular, the city of Fort Myers itself was hit particularly hard with a 7.26-foot surge — a record high.
The reopening included providing boxed lunches to residents and construction crews who are still on the island “as the community continues to rebuild,” said Lindsey Willis, Publix media relations manager. The first consumers in line received care packages with nonperishable essential items.
“Last year’s storm still impacts many residents, and we know how important it is to provide them with these basic but important items,” added Willis.
Publix also is donating $5,000 in essential items to Beach Baptist Church to be delivered following the store’s reopening.
Publix is going to continue to provide contactless pay options, a centralized pickup option at the front door for online orders, and services like grocery delivery by Instacart, which has proven to be a strong growth engine for grocers in April, with a reported 20% increase in delivery sales.