'Forgotten coast': a Florida town fights to rebuild after Hurricane Michael


Weeks before the 2019 hurricane season, Mexico Beach is still cleaning up debris from the strongest storm to hit the area

Five miles away from Mexico Beach, the carcasses of trees appear by the side of the road, still sprouting from the soil. Some bend mid-trunk, pointing towards the lush, spring sun-warmed grass. Others sport branches stripped bare.

Then, almost suddenly, the miles of tree graves end and the road dumps on to the white sand of the coastal Florida Panhandle town in Bay county. On the right, the sun turns the blue tarps taped over empty homes into reflectors. The sound of hammers echo along road 98. The only major traffic in the settlement that was once home to 1,200 people is at Cathey’s hardware store, in its temporary location next to a food truck-turned-restaurant, where contractors and residents alike line up to buy wire and new doors to rebuild on the empty slabs of concrete that once marked the spot of homes.

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Related: Without power and living in tents: Florida Panhandle struggles after Michael

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Source: The Guardian - Natural disasters and extreme weather