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Steinhatchee restaurant reopens 131 days after Hurricane Idalia flooding

Posted at 6:21 PM, Jan 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-08 18:21:54-05

  • Steinhatchee favorite, Roy's Restaurant, re-opened their doors after being closed for four months.
  • The owners had to rebuild after Hurricane Idalia destroyed the inside of the business.
  • Watch the video to see how staff are preparing for another round of potential flooding.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

A Steinhatchee staple faced a storm surge of over 7 feet in August.

Four short months later, they are rebuilt and back open for business.

We spoke with their owners in the hours after the hurricane destroyed their business of over 20 years.

I am following up with them four months later as they reopen their doors ahead of a storm set to bring storm surge to the area.

When Linda Wicker heard about the potential of coastal flooding coming Tuesday in Steinhatchee, she thought to herself, "I am just gonna ignore that."

That's because she just finished reopening Roy's Restaurant just steps from the Steinhatchee River. Hurricane Idalia's storm surge damaged her family business of over 20 years in August.

"This one was a lot, getting everyone here together and figure out a plan," Wicker said.

It's a process that she is familiar with but not an easy one.

"I don't care how many times it's happened, it's overwhelming," Wicker said. "But we've done it before."

Now, they have done it a third time.

The Wicker family rebuilt Roy's after Hurricane Hermine in 2016 and following a storm in 1993.

She said they couldn't have done it without the support of their neighbors and visitors alike.

"Not only the community but so many visitors from out of town that were down here for weeks," Wicker said.

The people locally that want to continue to help Roy's include employees at Good Times Marina.

Shelby Burt and her co-workers came to Roy's on their first day back open to give them some business after being shut down for four months.

"Everything is coming back and we're all just supporting each other, so it just works," Burt said.

The First to Know Weather Team said a coastal flood warning goes into effect Tuesday morning for this area. Strong winds could force water levels three to five feet above ground here.

Wicker said they'll be ready, but, "hopefully we won't have an issue," Wicker said. Good lord willing."