Nearly a year after Hurricane Michael devastated the small waterfront town, the vibe in the area generally was—in the words of Marie Whaley–“it’ll be what it’ll be.”
MEXICO BEACH — Nearly a year after Hurricane Michael devastated the small waterfront town, people in Mexico Beach appeared prepared but unfazed by Hurricane Dorian.
Days before Dorian was projected to land in Florida as a powerful storm, the vibe in the community — hit hard by the Category 5 storm on Oct. 10 — generally was, in the words of resident Marie Whaley, “It’ll be what it’ll be.”
“God knows what’s in store," said Eddie LaFountain, pastor at the First Baptist Church of Mexico Beach. "He brought us through one already. If he decides that this is going to come ashore, then he’ll bring us through this one too.”
The East Coast is expected to feel effects, though exactly what will happen and where Hurricane Dorian will go is currently unknown. LaFountain encouraged people to listen to weathermen and evacuate if told to do so. Damaged buildings and contractors working are still common sights in Mexico Beach almost 11 months after Michael made landfall.
“I just believe that if we trust in God and listen to wisdom, we’re going to be okay,” LaFountain said.
LaFountain's wife, Josie LaFountain, is also prepared and said people are welcome at the church if they need a place to stay, water or food. The church has collected donated clothes and has a food pantry.
Her dad is in Puerto Rico, which dodged Dorian.
“Here, after Hurricane Michael, what else is there?” she said while doodling in a notebook at the church. “You just keep on and that’s it. No concerns about Dorian at all.”
Whaley, who spent Thursday afternoon relaxing on her porch, wasn’t anxious but will leave if Dorian heads to town.
“I’m not worried about this,” said Whaley, who stayed in the local area during Michael, an experience she called horrible. “A lot of people have talked about if it hits again, they’re moving again and never coming back.”
Others are anxious after Hurricane Michael, though. Around the corner along U.S. 98, Russell King was having a rental home he co-owns prepared for possible effects. The home is still standing after Hurricane Michael.
“I’m scared to death. I’m scared to death of the storms everywhere,” King said. “I ain’t staying.”
Dell Medford, who was also in Mexico Beach on Thursday and helped feed people in the area after Hurricane Michael, has been keeping track of Hurricane Dorian and will evacuate if necessary.
“If it comes down through Miami and gets back out to the Gulf of Mexico, that’s pure power out there,” Medford said while pointing to the warm waters. “That’s gasoline for a hurricane.”