Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Goodland Strong

The fishing village recovers after Hurricane Irma

Photos by Samantha Husted

Photos by Samantha Husted

Driving down the winding, mangrove lined road to Goodland feels much like it did before Hurricane Irma hit. Although now, the road is caked dry with mud and the mangroves have been thinned out. When you reach the boundaries of the small fishing town, the devastation becomes evident.

For the uninitiated, Goodland is a fishing village located on the outskirts of Marco Island. It’s often lovingly referred to as a “drinking town with a fishing problem.” Its people get around by way of golf carts and Sundays are spent at Stan’s Idle Hour and Little Bar for live music and Buzzard Punch, a drink predominately comprised of rum. It’s a place where everyone knows everyone. And with a population of about 300, Goodlanders are fiercely protective of one another.



On Saturday Hurricane Irma tore through the village with tumultuous force. The area received a significant amount of structural damage. Almost no building was left untouched, including the famous Stan’s Idle Hour and restaurant Marker 8.5. FEMA search and rescue teams were dispatched to the town, checking on those who did not to adhere to the mandatory evacuation. Luckily, no fatalities have been reported.

Since Irma’s landfall the town has come together in surprising ways. Collectively they’ve cleaned and cleared properties and have helped one another where they can. The neighborhood has been working day and night to restore some sense of normalcy. As of this writing, Goodland is still without power.



Recently Lisa and Denis Meurgue, owners of Bistro Soleil on Marco Island, and Kevin and Sean Flynn, of Naples Glass and Aluminum, got together to grill lunch for Goodlanders and emergency service employees. Locals restaurants Nacho Mama’s and Cocomo’s Grill have also donated food, water, and ice to residents.

The sign welcoming visitors to Goodland was damaged during the storm. It has since been replaced with a hand painted sheet that reads “Goodland Strong,” a symbolic reminder of the kind of town Goodland is.

It may be a while before Goodland is back on its feet. In the meantime, let’s not forget about our neighbor to the east. If you want to help, try checking Facebook page Marco Patriots for information. If you know of a fundraiser specifically benefitting Goodland, please contact sam@coastalbreezenews.com.





Photo by Jodi Pree

Photo by Jodi Pree

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