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Keaton Beach took a direct hit from Hurricane Idalia; see how area businesses are banding together to recover

Idalia made landfall near Keaton Beach as a high-end Category 3 hurricane
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Posted at 5:02 PM, Sep 04, 2023
  • A community that took a direct hit from a major hurricane is working to recover.
  • Area business owners are banding together to get supplies to neighbors.
  • People are traveling hundreds of miles to help.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Tracking recovery where Hurricane Idalia made landfall less than a week ago...

"We have the most gracious people in this community."

I'm Kendall Brandt in Keaton Beach where a local bar has now become the center of recovery efforts in this small community. People from near and far are coming to this business to donate things like food and water.

Despite lots of damage, Amy Dykes says her community of Keaton Beach is lucky.

"God spared this little community, he sure did. We took a direct hit."

A direct hit from a category 3 hurricane.

Despite the devastation, Dykes is taking a positive attitude this Labor Day

"We are laboring away and we love it."

To help her community recover after Idalia.

"We had some good people help us hook up generators here and I thought this would be a good location, a good hub for drop off donations."

She is not alone in her efforts.

Gilbert Rykard has been helping at Bird Racks, as well as doing manual labor with Dykes's husband Buddy.

"We don't have to know the people. Just clear the driveway so they can get in and out and emergency services can get to their house if need be."

He says locals and visitors are helping the area.

"I've saw truck loads and carloads of people dropping, 'where can I put this' It's just crazy the support and it does my heart good."

People doing his heart good: volunteers like Jean Styler, who came from Bonita Springs in southwest Florida to donate and lend a hand.

She lived through Hurricane Ian just less than a year ago.

"I continued to watch the news and I just.. I just had to help. We do have a garage full of paper towels and toilet paper and I just looked at it and said you can tell me people don't need that."

Dykes says she is grateful for the community coming together during such a difficult time.

“Everyone just bands together and they know if somebody needs help to just reach out to us and get it to them."

Dykes tells me she will keep this bar open as a place for people to get food and water for as long as it is needed.