Mexico Beach hits Hurricane Michael recovery milestones with Welcome Center and gas station

Local News

MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Mexico Beach officials have moved into the new Welcome Center after the old one was destroyed by Hurricane Michael.

Mexico Beach Community Development Council President, Kimberly Shoaf, said it feels good to be back home in the new welcome center. She said even though they have moved into the new building, there are still a few finishing touches left to be done.

“So we are working on getting our brochure racks ordered as well as some new office furniture our artwork hung back up and so it’s a work in progress,” Shoad said. “But we’re just excited to be here to show it off and to be open and just to be able to you know have something that’s a little bit bigger than the mobile office that we worked out of for a year and a half.”

Shoaf said in addition to some of their artwork that was in the old welcome center, they’re also bringing back a community favorite.

“The biggest question is are we bringing back our big white Adirondack chair and the answer is yes we are,” Shoaf said.

The welcome center isn’t the only sign of progress. Warren Nichols is a charter guide from Albany, Georgia, and said before the new gas station opened, it was a challenge to find fuel.

“We were actually having to bring our fuel from Georgia with us and we were burning about 300 gallons a day so when Port St. Joe came back open we’d just have to travel every day from Mexico Beach back to Port St. Joe to get what fuel they had fighting with all of the other locals to get fuel and all the other charters to get fuel,” Nichols said.

Nichols said it’s great to see the progress.

“To be able to see all the people that you were here with before the hurricane and can sit down somewhere at a local place and see that local place thriving and having those owners ‘Hey how you doing again,’ and kind of trying to take off where we left off,” Nichols said.

Shoaf said many businesses have returned to Mexico Beach after the hurricane. She called that a testament to the spirit of Mexico Beach.

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