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Businesses along Big Bend Coast keep a close eye on Fred

Posted at 6:14 PM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 18:14:16-04

ST. MARKS, Fla. (WTXL) — Businesses across the coastal areas are watching Fred closely as it spins in the Atlantic.

Riverside Cafe is more than just a place to eat and enjoy a summer breeze. It’s filled with hurricane history. Literally.

"Michael, above my head. You can see."

Stanley West is the owner of this open restaurant sitting along the St. Marks River. He's seen it all from Michael to Hermine. Every hurricane to hit the Wakulla County Coast in the past two decades-- making its mark on this post and showing how much water spilled into the restaurant.

"We've had quite a few from eight inches to a couple of feet to three, four, and five feet now."

Sunny, hot, and the chatter of wildlife, you wouldn’t know there’s a storm brewing in the Atlantic.

"You always prepare. You always get ready for the best you can."

We’re talking about Fred. Something Stan and his staff are watching closely and are ready to act just in case.

"Usually that's taking the few things out. If you really think it's going to hit here, you take things out and put them on blocks."

Fred could have a significant impact on businesses not just here in St. Marks...but across the coast.

"From a financial standpoint, you get a few people that come look but you don't get your regular crowd they usually stay home."

And that means less business.

"A lot of times they think you closed down because the hurricane came through and you get wiped out and it's always not that true. It takes us about a week or two to get back up and running."

Hopefully, Fred turns away and goes out to sea.