Author: Terry

Naples, Fla., Rebuilds Its First Floor

Naples, Fla., Rebuilds Its First Floor

A tiny Florida beach town is rebuilding after a hurricane. Is it becoming a preserve of the rich? Or are its residents still going about their daily lives—in a way that’s very different?

It was two days after the first raindrops fell in Naples, Fla. A week before, Hurricane Michael struck the Caribbean coast.

As it turned out, the storm wasn’t particularly dangerous, but it caused a lot of damage—more than a million homes in eight states and more than $15 billion in damage.

With more than half of the buildings in town destroyed or damaged, it was decided to turn the old downtown into a makeover. It would be a rehabilitation project, not a reconstruction. The mayor of Naples, Donnie McClure, Jr., said the goal was to put the town back on its feet.

Then the storm hit.

McClure was in the office when the first hurricane hit. He told the media, “We didn’t have a chance.”

“We’ll be OK,” he was quoted as saying.

Three days after the storm, McClure and his wife were back in the office, and they were busy with the project. They called it a “rehabilitation” but had high hopes that it would be one of the best ever.

‘We’ve been rebuilt, baby’

They have high hopes with the city’s recovery, as they stand on the first floor of their office building, which they remodeled to become their new headquarters. The building, designed to be a replica of historic Naples, is now called the City Hall, as the city tries to get back to normal.

McClure was part of a crew that moved into the building a month after the storm. With the first floor gone, they started rebuilding the whole building—moving the city’s headquarters, police station, courts, water and sewage system out and replacing them. They gutted the city hall, tore out the underground water system, replaced and rebuilt the sewer system.

The mayor even came out of retirement to help with the

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