MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — As the one year anniversary of Hurricane Michael is now only days away, Congressman Neal Dunn wanted to pay a visit to Mexico Beach to get an update to the recovery.
The city was one the hardest-hit areas in the storm’s path but Dunn says he sees progress, slowly but surely.
He traveled around the city with Police Chief Anthony Kelly on Friday.
The two saw a mix of structures that are still in ruins, cleared slabs, newly finished homes, and re-opened businesses.
One thing that caught the Congressman’s attention though is the lack of a gas station in the city.
“If you think about all the construction here, they need gas. If you have a generator, you need gas. It’s just a piece of infrastructure we have to replace,” Dunn said.
He says this is something he wants to get corrected due to how important it is for rebuild and basic needs of residents.
“You just don’t realize you take that for granted. You just assume it’s going to be here,” Kelly said.
Overall, Dunn says he thinks the city has come as far as it has due to the strength of its residents.
“They’ve come amazingly far. Great morale, great people. The businesses are coming back, the homes are coming back. It’s a very very good story. A story with a lot of hope in it,” Dunn said.
He says the point of his trip was to get his own update but to hopefully bring more attention to the needs.
“I want to get the word out to the rest of the country because they tend to forget Hurricane Michael but these communities are here, they’re coming back, they’re coming back strong. They deserve the interest,” Dunn said.
Even though things aren’t progressing as fast as people may like, Kelly thinks the tremendous support from the state leaders will keep Mexico Beach moving forward.
“We’re not forgotten. We might be called the forgotten coast but as they mayor has said, we’re not forgotten,” Kelly said.