Ian wipes out portions of Sanibel Causeway, trapping residents on island

Sanibel, FL - Hurricane Ian destroyed several portions of the Sanibel Causeway, leaving residents of Sanibel and Captiva Islands with no way to reach the mainland.

Sanibel Island, home to more than 6,500 people, is located just south of where Hurricane Ian made landfall on Wednesday.

Officials say a 50-60 foot section of the causeway fell into the Gulf of Mexico.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis confirmed Thursday that Sanibel Causeway is one of at least two bridges that are "impassable" and will "require structural rebuilds."

DeSantis said Friday that the three-mile causeway "had breaks in multiple parts of it." 

During Friday's briefing, Governor DeSantis stated the damage "was not where the water and the pylons were, those held up very well, It was where you had some on the sandbar, and that got washed out from underneath."

NBC 2 News' Greg Goulding Tweeted a photo of the damage early Thursday morning.

On Thursday, Sanibel Mayor Holly Smith confirmed the occupants of about 200 homes had stayed behind during the storm.

Smith says authorities confirmed two injuries and 12 deaths on the island.

DeSantis announced officials are running barges in order to ferry supplies and heavier equipment to the island.

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