Historic Lighthouse Still Stands On Hurricane-Battered Sanibel Island

The 138-year-old landmark managed to survive Hurricane Ian’s winds and surge.

Hurricane Ian Sanibel Island Lighthouse
Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Tall above the rubble, a historic landmark still stands on Florida's Sanibel Island.

Somehow, the Sanibel Island Lighthouse managed to withstand Hurricane Ian's 150 mph winds and 8-to-15-foot storm surge Wednesday.

According to Lighthouse Digest, though it's still standing, the illuminated lens-bearing metal structure is in danger of collapse. The keepers' houses surrounding it for more than a century were also leveled in the storm.

"Look closely and you will notice that the bottom of one of the support legs is gone, and erosion under the other legs puts the lighthouse in a precarious position," the online publication shared on Facebook Friday. "There is also some other minor damage to the tower."

The "Sanibel Island Light," otherwise known as the "Sanibel Lighthouse" is located on the eastern end of the 12-mile long island. One of the Gulf Coast's first lighthouses, the iron structure became fully automated in 1949. The Coast Guard gifted the 98-foot lighthouse to the City of Sanibel in 2004 and it was restored in 2013.

Aerial view of Sanibel Island, Florida
Sanibel Island Lighthouse before Hurricane Ian. Sportstock/Getty Images

Hurricane Ian, which struck as a Category 4 storm Wednesday, wiped away parts of the Sanibel Causeway, stranding residents and complicating rescue efforts. The storm was responsible for at least four deaths on the sleepy island.

This is a developing story.

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