Letter: After the storm

275-shaver-davis-shoresLetter: After the storm

Nancy Shaver, Mayor
City of St Augustine

You can really tell who we are as people and as a community at a time like this. Our true selves come to light—and we are St Augustine Strong—kind and caring and generous—and tough—and resilient.

This storm has hundreds of stories of people just helping, young men just showing up on Water Street to help clear debris, volunteers staffing and helping the Emergency Operations Recovery Center in Davis Shores, owners and employees working round the clock to get Café Alcazar and Meehans, and many other of our businesses open. St Augustine Hurricane Recovery on Facebook quickly matches needs with help. There is a long list of other acts of caring and kindness.

I thank each and every one for being part of the amazing fabric of our hometown.

As I’ve been across our City, I am awed but not surprised by how we are coming back. And if you were not affected by the storm—let’s support our businesses, and keep helping out neighbors.

Make no mistake—while many people came through with only a few branches to clean up—there are 300 of us who were hit hard, throughout our City especially in Davis Shores. And as in many disasters those with few means to recover are in a very tough spot. Many people are displaced with no place to go, and have little or no insurance. St Francis House our homeless shelter, needs to rebuild. FEMA assistance will take time in coming—and will still likely leave gaps which we’ll figure out how to fill.

This is a marathon, not a sprint—and an emotional roller coaster, of gratitude for being alive, grief at our losses, and frustration. In the coming days and months there will be much to do—but we are in this together.

After 451 years we’re not going anywhere.

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