What Areas in Naples, FL Had the Least Amount of Damage From Hurricane Ian?

Hurricane Ian was the worst storm in the history of Naples, FL. Certain neighborhoods fared better than others, and interestingly enough, certain sections of certain neighborhoods also fared better than others. Below I will discuss what areas did well and why.  


naples park elevation map fema flood plain 
                                 
Naples Park Topographical Map, Ranges from 9' to 13'

To check the elevations of individual properties in unincorporated Collier County click the image of the topographical map of Naples Park above and it will take you to Collier County Know Your Elevation. There you have the ability to search by address. To search property elevations within the city limits of Naples, click the map of Park Shore below. 

Fema Flood Zones in Naples, FL

Although it is entirely possible, I have not learned of any homes or condos located above the floodplain that flooded. Historically, the designated FEMA flood maps have been very good indicators, however, they certainly have not been perfect. Over the years, I have read that on a national basis some homes and condos above the floodplain have flooded while others below the floodplain never flood. That's why it's important to cross-reference the FEMA floodmaps with the insurance claim history and talk to the neighbors. This has been a hot button of mine for years, and I am happy to help you find the most accurate information to make the best decision possible. I am a big advocate of using flood maps, insurance claim history, and local knowledge from the neighbors to help my customers vet the properties before committing to the purchase.

Here in Naples, within most individual neighborhoods you have both floodplain and non-floodplain areas. Not only did the non-floodplain areas stay dry but the areas immediately near these high areas also tended to stay dry. 

How Did Real Estate in Naples West of 41 Do Against Hurricane Ian?

Undoubtedly this is where Hurricane Ian was the most destructive. Older beachfront condo buildings were permitted to be built closer to the sand than you can build now. This led to the flooding of the bottom 2 floors in many buildings. With that said, these buildings will be restored as the sheer demand for these "on the sand" buildings always bounces back. The newer condo buildings in Naples were built farther from the sand, and the reports I have been hearing indicate the storm surge made its way to the lowest floor which is typically the lower-level parking garage.  

Homes and condos west of 41 that are located above the flood plain tended not to flood at all. In fact, several homes and condos located below the flood plain didn't flood either. For example, in Naples Park there are several homes that are above and below the flood plain that did not flood. The same can be said for Park Shore, Olde Naples, Moorings, and Pelican Bay. Many people don't realize that the elevations vary within these communities to the point where certain sections are above the floodplain. The sections located below the floodplain that didn't flood tend to be located just below the floodplain and not well below it. Sure this sounds like common sense, but so many people think that everything flooded when that is so far from the truth. 

  

park shore, Venetian village elevation map topo flood plain fema map

Park Shore, Venetian Village Fema Flood Map, Orange is Above the Flood Plain

What About Wind Damage in Naples from Hurricane Ian?

Overall, the reports I'm hearing are that wind damage was relatively minimal. Hurricane Irma hit Naples in 2017 and exposed weakness in homes and condo buildings including highrise condos. As a result, many of the affected properties were upgraded with hurricane-rated impact glass and new roofs. Naples is actually lucky that Irma hit us because if it hadn't, many of the buildings wouldn't have built up their defenses leaving them much more vulnerable to Ian.  Although there certainly was wind damage, ultimately, Ian was much more about the storm surge then it was wind. 

Hurricane Ian, Bottomline

The vast majority of the real estate that flooded is on or very close to navigable waterways connected to the gulf and well within the FEMA-designated flood zone. Also, most properties located within 2 blocks of the Gulf of Mexico were breached. Most real estate above and just below the floodplain did not flood at all. The majority of homes in Naples, FL did not flood. 

Hurricane Ian, Naples, FL Conclusion

In conclusion, Hurricane Ian was the worst storm in the history of Naples, and the areas with higher elevations did not flood--even West of 41. If you want to be high and dry, I recommend vetting spot elevation, checking the insurance claim history, and talking to the neighbors before purchasing any property here in the Naples Area. There is plenty of high ground in Naples, FL, you just have to do your homework and/or have a real estate agent that guides you in the right direction. Hurricane Ian has highlighted the low-lying areas as well as the high-lying areas, and this can and should be used to the buyer's advantage. 

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Related: What Areas in Estero, FL Had the Least Damage From Hurricane Ian?

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