Those cities mentioned, especially Fort Myers and Punta Gorda, is where I grew up. Punta Gorda for high school and Fort Myers for community college. I lived in Port Charlotte, about two miles or so north of Punta Gorda.
In 1960 Hurricane Donna struck my area dead-on. I remember the deathly silence when the eye passed over my home. The hurricane hit the Florida Keys as a Category IV hurricane but I think it weakened to a strong Category III when it hit my area.