Boaters, businesses in historic district look to rebuild after Hurricane Michael

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WPRI) — Saint Andrews in Panama City suffered significant damage from Hurricane Michael, but businesses are now starting to reopen, and boaters are back in the historic district’s marina.

Seth Chandler, a boater of 20 years, docks three of his boats at Saint Andrews Marina. Prior to the storm, he made sure his vessels were fine, and then he traveled home to Tennessee.

He returned to Panama City after the hurricane to find the back end of one of his boats had sunk.

“That’s a 56-foot wide boat that I bought in May,” Chandler said. “You can have insurance, but you can’t have enough insurance to cover this kind of stuff.”

Chandler said his second boat requires some costly repairs, but luckily, his third vessel fared a lot better than the other two.

“I probably lost 100 thousand dollars in 10 minutes,” he said.

Chandler said insurance covered about half of that.

Meantime, some businesses are beginning to reopen in Saint Andrews. We caught up with a business owner Friday, who said he believes some stores will never reopen.

“There will be a handful of businesses that don’t come back. A lot of them were renters, or the property owners are going to take this time to transition to something else, or renovate their buildings,” Brad Stephens, owner of Sunjammers, said. “But, the community of Saint Andrews as a whole is stronger than we’ve ever been, we’re closer than we’ve been ever been, and we’re going to be back stronger than ever.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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