In a beachside neighborhood where Hurricane Michael has turned homes into splintered piles of rubble, one home is still standing tall after the storm.
The beachfront home in Mexico called “The Sand Palace” did not escape Michael’s wrath completely unscathed: the building’s ground floor was completely wiped away and there was some water damage from missing windows.
But being constructed on 40-foot pilings help the structure withstand the worst of the storm surge which leveled the entire block surrounding the home.
“We wanted to build it for the big one,” the home’s co-owner Lebron Lackey told The New York Times. “We just never knew we’d find the big one so fast.”
The home, now accessible by only a ladder after the stairway was washed away, will need to have all its utilities redone, and has lost a heating and air unit.
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Lackey and his uncle, Russell King, did not tell The Times how much they spent on the home to make it storm-ready, but public records show the home, which is reinforced by steel cables and rebar, has been assessed for $400,000.
“We’re thinking that we need to build a house that would survive for generations,” King told The Times.
When family members are not using the home, it is rented out to vacationers. A Facebook page for the home says the building has four bedrooms, two “fully stocked kitchens,” in addition to an elevator, plenty of living space, plus four and a half bathrooms.
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“Our home is located in the quiet seaside town of Mexico Beach, Fl. With beautiful white beaches and a family-oriented atmosphere, Mexico Beach is the perfect beach vacation ‘off the beaten path,'” said post on the page from May.
In the wake of the storm, family members running the page said the home has become a staging area for news crews and search and rescue workers combing through Mexico Beach.
“We feel blessed to be able to provide any shelter possible to these volunteers,” a post read.