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  1. Hurricane

After Michael, picking up the pieces in Spring Creek and Alligator Point

SPRING CREEK — For more than eight decades, the Spears family has owned a couple of seafood stores at the end of Spring Creek Highway.

That may no longer be true after Hurricane Michael.

"We are going to try and rebuild," said Ashley Gandy, 28, as she walked around what used to be the deck of the Lee N. Seafood Shop.

All that remained were chunks of cement and pieces of lumber. The force of the storm surge tossed an office chair and desk, a fish-cleaning table and other debris out of the once-thriving business.

"I'm not sure we can rebuild," Ggandy said, "but we'll try."

Chickens milled a few yards down the road, seemingly oblivious to the destruction.

"They were swimming during the storm," said Tenny Spears, 75, of the fortitudinal fowl. "They are survivors."

The same cannot be said for the Spears Seafood building, the front of which was crushed by the watery onslaught.

"It's all over," said W. J Spears, 80, sitting on a dingy plastic chair, his shirt open.

Spears owns the second of the family's two seafood businesses.

"This is the worst storm I've ever seen," he said, "and I've seen 80 years worth."

Across the street, Lori Spears, 46, kneeled in a puddle, her right arm in a hole up to her elbow, searching for the water main so she can stop the water pouring into her house.

"I have just one question," she joked to a throng of family onlookers. "If I get bit by a water moccasin, who is going to suck out the venom?"

• • •

ALLIGATOR POINT — Alligator Drive ends with buckled asphalt and concrete.

Somehow, though, the home at 1296 Alligator Drive was nearly pristine after the storm.

"I put in double-thick walls and high impact glass, said George Beach, 69. "I put in every safety measure possible and it worked."

Still, Beach said he didn't weather the storm at home.

"I knew it was going to be a bad one," he said.

• • •


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