Perry son and mother working to re-open businesses after Idalia

Posted at 6:36 PM, Sep 06, 2023
  • A veteran who owns a gym in Perry is working to recover from Hurricane Idalia.
  • His mother is also working to repair damage done by the storm.
  • Watch the video to see the damage.


“When I walked up and saw the barn door on my car I wanted to throw up, but I didn’t.”


That’s Dustin Whiddon. He recalls seeing the impact of Hurricane Idalia for the first time.


Whiddon is a veteran andlocal gym ownerof an all women’s gym in Taylor County.


While he’s happy he and his family were safe, he still struggles with the fact that the storm tore the roof off of his business.


“I can’t process. I could not process it then, and I still struggle processing fully now. I went into like a space mentally where I kind of had to detach from it.”

Whiddon is still trying to figure out next steps.


Question: You’re in recovery mode, what’s the next step for you?”


Answer: I can’t even say I’m in recovery mode yet. I’m in damage control mode.”


“When things like this happen there’s a reason.”


That’s where Linda Evans comes in. She owns a coffee shop in Perry and happens to be Whiddon’s mother.


Evans also experienced damage to her business, and she says looking at the positives will bring a better outcome.


“In my mind I’m going to keep thinking that because it makes me feel better.”


While both are working towards recovery they say they’ll continue to lean on each other to continue to serve the community.