By Jack Elka, Special to The Islander
Immediately after Hurricane Irma passed, I decided to get into a plane and fly the Southwest coast of Florida to see and photograph any damage.
I knew people would want to see their properties — whether damaged or safe.
Even before the storm, I received emails from owners wanting drone shots of their roof and property.
I flew the drone over Anna Maria Island and took photographs of the piers and local scenes that showed very little damage.
We were OK.
The photographs were posted on The Islander website and the newspaper’s Facebook page.
Soon after, I received calls from people thanking me for showing their properties still existed and their roofs had not blown off.
I thought that this could be bigger than I ever imagined. So I purchased the domain names for hurricaneirmapictures.com and hurricaneirmaphotos.com.
Then Sept. 16, I went up in a small plane and flew the west coast from Anna Maria Island to Marco Island. I shot everything in sight. I was surprised to see very little damage visible from 1,500 feet, traveling at 120 knots.
You can zoom in and see much more detail.
I remember flying after Hurricane Charley to see many more blue tarps and flipped boats.
I hope the pictures can give people peace of mind or a clear picture of any damage. We were very lucky this storm spared our area.