MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — After Hurricane Michael devastated Mexico Beach, a local business teamed up with a non-profit to help support the community.
Like almost everything else in Mexico Beach, the popular Killer Seafood restaurant was no match for Category 5 Hurricane Michael.
“Thought that everything would be okay the next day, but obviously it turned out different once it escalated but to come back the next day and find what was on this piece of property was just disheartening the only thing left of our buildings was scattered way back into the woods,” Killer Seafood co-owner Michael Scoggins said.
But that didn’t stop Scoggins. For weeks after the storm they opened what was known as Camp Happy Tummies, feeding up to 1,500 people a day.
“It became a meeting place and a town hall, as it were, for the people who are down here trying to clean their houses out, rebuild, figure out what they were going to do in their next step,” Scoggins said.
A year later, they joined together with a nonprofit to organize ‘Stronger than the Storm.’
“A lot of the people here that live here locally had neighbors that they never even spoke to before the hurricane, now, after the hurricane, they help each other clean up, they attended events like this” Event Organizer Matt Larson said.
This year marks five years since the storm.
“We have a music festival that runs all day long, the event is free to attend, we do have food, we have drinks, we have merch as far as T-shirts and things of sale, we have different items set up for children,” Larson said.
The three-day event is all about community.
“Everybody who is fighting this battle is ‘Stronger than that Storm’ because it didn’t destroy the spirit or the attitude of the people who are still trying to heal, still here, trying to make this town work, if you’re still here, and rebuilding you’ve got some skin in the game,” Scoggins said.
Click here for more information about the event.