Mexico Beach: One year after Hurricane Michael
October 7, 2019
MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (WCTV) — Tranquility currently reigns along the coast. However, this time last year, Mother Nature displayed her fury. Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael making landfall on Mexico Beach. The small coastal community was one of the areas Michael hit hardest as the center of the storm impacted the coast .
"Total devastation, all messed up, devastation everywhere," Steve Lonogan said.
Michael was a category five hurricane when it made landfall on Mexico Beach last year. Maximum sustained winds whipped at just about 160 miles per hour and storm surge wiped away businesses and homes, with waves as high as 14 feet decimating the coastal community of 1,200.
"Everybody's house was under our house," Tonya Ivey said.
Lonogan and Ivey have a home in Mexico Beach just yards from the shore. When Michael hit, a large building helped to shield the home from some of the elements. However, it wasn't enough to completely protect the home from the fierce storm.
"Blew the roof off of the porch, ripped the stairs off the side," Lonogan said. "And because it ripped the roof off, it peeled the living room some and it rained in there. It kind of messed up the floors and walls. We pretty much got to redo the whole house."
Others weren't so lucky. many homes and businesses were destroyed. Debris still remained along Highway 98 months after the storm.
With thousands homeless, jobless and $9 billion in insured losses in Florida, recovery from Hurricane Michael is just getting started.