Some NW Florida residents still affected by Hurricane Sally six months later

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Tuesday marks six months since Hurricane Sally made landfall along the Gulf Coast.

While progress has been made in restoring Northwest Florida back to normal, reminders of Sally fury still remain.

Boats that sunk at the Palafox Pier Yacht Harbor Marina during Hurricane Sally have been removed, but railings still remain missing on sections of the pier.

“I’m excited to see the progress that we’re making on the waterfront,” said Pensacola resident Linda Kraft. “This beautiful marina was filled with sunken and destroyed boats. I’m looking forward to it being restored completely.”

At Pensacola Beach, roads that were once lined with debris are clear. Homes are repaired, as well as businesses.

However, many of those business are still struggling because the Pensacola Bay Bridge is still closed after construction barges crashed into it during the hurricane.

“It’s hurt so many people,” Gulf Breeze resident Barry Koncan said Tuesday. “All the businesses that have been affected. It’s really been devastating.”

Koncan said the bridge closure still affects him, too.

“That bridge being out is a big time detriment to us,” he said. “We’re over to Pensacola all the time. What used to be a 10 minute drive is now a 30 to 45 minute drive, sometimes longer.”

At Pier One Marina at Pensacola Beach, a once-heavily damaged wood dock is now a fortified concrete dock. Scott Wheatley, one of of the marina’s owners, said as a marina owner, you have to prepare for disasters along the Gulf Coast.

However, he said 2020 had far too many disasters.

“Last year was a year for everybody to get a little stronger, tougher and leaner,” he said. “It felt like it kind of piled on going from COVID, storm, to no bridge. You try to keep an optimistic outlook on it. This is an amazing island.”

Northwest Florida residents told WKRG News 5 on Tuesday they hope for a calm hurricane season in 2021.

“No hurricanes,” Koncan said. “If we do get one, let’s make it a mild one.”

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