• Monica Smit

7 months after Mexico Beach met a devil named Michael.

Updated: May 8

I just spent 4 days in Mexico Beach interviewing the locals about Hurricane Michael, which happened over 7 months ago.


This is some of their story…


Friends and Family member call residents and say "oh, but things are back to normal now aren’t they? It’s been ages since it happened, get over it!".


Does this look normal to you?


Mexico beach doesn’t want your pity, trust me, they don’t need it. They are strong, resilient, and can count on each other.


So many locals have said things like this to me…


I used to have friends here, now I have family here”.

"What used to be handshakes are now hugs”.

What used to be a flippant “how are you?”is now a sincere “how are you doing my friend?”.


This town will come back stronger and better than it was before Michael. Mexico beach now has a story, a good one! This tiny town of about 1000 residents survived, and will recover from a category 5 hurricane, the 3rd strongest hurricane in United States History…that’s something to be proud of, that’s something to celebrate.


Is it back to normal? NO.

Is it getting there? YES.

Will it get there? YES!


I’ve asked many people if they’re confident their town will fully recover, none of them hesitated to say a loud and strong ‘YES, OF COURSE IT WILL’.


80% of Mexico beach was damaged…80%!!! Let’s do a ‘fun’ exercise. Imagine driving through your town and 80% of it being damaged or GONE. What a vision that is hey?


Even a category 5 Hurricane couldn’t take away Mexico Beach’s amazing, beautiful and sprawling white-sandy beaches. This is one of the nicest beach I’ve seen during my travels. If you sit on the beach and look out to the ocean, you almost forget you’re in a post disaster-zone. If you don’t look back at the empty house slabs and debri piles, all you’ll see is crystal blue water and long beaches. Nothing can take that way from them…not even the Hurricane devil, Michael.


Mark my words, Mexico beach is going to be an even better attraction than it was before Michael intruded. It will still be quiet and peaceful, but on top of that, it’ll have a depth to it that can’t be explained. If you ask a local to talk about their hurricane story, they’ll gladly tell you.


This place now has a hero status, a disaster zone survival status…this is and always will be MEXICO BEACH!!!