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Residents of Florida city destroyed by hurricane cling to hope of rebuilding

(Charlotte Kesl/For The Washington Post

Hurricane Michael demolished 85 percent of the structures in Mexico Beach last October, wiping foundations clean of vacation homes and cinder-block cottages, ripping roofs and exterior walls from businesses and scattering the contents among thousands of tooth-picked long-leaf pines.

The city’s operating budget is $3.5 million. It cost $30 million to remove debris from the canals, and total restoration is expected to top $239 million.

It’s hard to ignore the realty signs dangling in front of storm-scoured, weed-strewn lots. If you attempt to count them all, just along the five-mile stretch of Highway 98, you will quickly lose track. If you drive down the side roads — none of which have street signs now — you’ll find so many for sale signs that you will give up the endeavor.

But there is another sign in Mexico Beach that offers a glimmer of hope: “Not for Sale.” Some residents, weary of the daily onslaught from deal-driven developers, decided to issue a strong message to opportunistic outsiders: “Original 98 MB Not for Sale: We love our neighbors and our community.”

Read the full story on The Washington Post.

Photo credits: Charlotte Kesl/For The Washington Post

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