WINK in Fort Myers Flooded, Takes Power Hit

By Kevin Eck 

Fort Myers CBS station WINK was knocked off the air and flooded by Hurricane Ian on Wednesday.

The station said power went out just before 5 p.m., but anchors Lois ThomasChris Cifatte and chief meteorologist Matt Devitt continued to broadcast on Facebook.

“We are like everybody else,” said Tom Doerr, director of local news and content. “We are experiencing the same difficulties like everybody else.”


The hurricane is one strongest storms to ever hit Florida. The New York Times said a storm surge of up to 12 feet “submerged cars, knocked over houses and trapped residents near where the hurricane came ashore west of Fort Myers. Some places remained too dangerous for water rescues, officials said, adding that they were taking down addresses to deploy resources once it was safe.”

“Right now, we are working as fast as we can to get back on the air,” Doerr said. “It’s complicated by high water.”

WINK news director Rich Garcia said the station will find a way to inform its viewers.

“We’ve got an incredible group of professionals in the newsroom,” Garcia said. “They want to tell the stories of recovery.”

Devitt posted a Facebook video showing the storm surge right outside the window. He said the parking lot was under 3 to 4 feet of water and was being held back by a flood gate. While walking through the station, he showed flooding in the studio and told viewers the station staff were moving up to the second floor due to the storm surge.