BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Four years ago Hurricane Michael decimated Bay County. Communities throughout the Panhandle are still recovering from the Category Five hurricane.
“It’s more of a marathon than a sprint,” Mexico Beach City Administrator Doug Baber said.
Mexico Beach has rebuilt most of its homes and restaurants.
“The infrastructure’s been the biggest projects,” Mexico Beach Community Development Council President Kimberly Shoaf said. “The welcome center, getting it back open, a new building, all of the city parks, the boat ramp.”
Shoaf said 75% of the city’s infrastructure has been rebuilt. Staple restaurants have also reopened.
But some of Mexico Beach’s most iconic landmarks are still missing.
“The iconic pier for Mexico Beach is in the works, working through with FEMA,” Baber said. “It’s a hundred percent funded but we’re working through the process with the permits.”
City officials said it is vital to bring parks like Sunset Park in Mexico Beach back to their communities following the hurricane.
“We’ve been upgrading our parks and adding new and additional parks and amenities for our residents,” Callaway City Manager Ed Cook said.
Cook said the city’s biggest obstacle was debris cleanup following the storm.
“Just over the small city we had just over a million cubic yards of debris,” Cook said. “To put that in perspective, if you took the Superdome you could take all of our debris, put it in the top of it and it would be spilling over the sides.”
Now Callaway has just several major rebuilding projects left. The city has plans to rebuild Gore Park and add fencing throughout the city. It also plans to improve its water drainage system and upgrade lift stations.