Donalsonville recovery six months after Hurricane Michael

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DOTHAN, Al. (WTVY) - It has been 6-months since Hurricane Michael hit the Florida panhandle and southwest Georgia.

One of the places hit hardest was Donalsonville, where clean-up continues.

The state of Georgia and FEMA stepped up to help right after the storm, but soon after that those resources maxed out, so it was up to the city to pick up where they left off.

Instead of contracting the job out, the city manager tells me the most efficient way is to do it themselves.

"The devastation of the storm was just far more than any of us expected,” said Steve Hicks, Donalsonville City Manager.
It's been six weeks since Donalsonville has taken over debris cleanup. The first phase of cleanup has been completed. Now, the focus has turned to cleaning up homeowner debris and the city's 6 mile drainage system.

"Everybody is being upbeat about it and keeping the work going with the fact that it is a small crew and limited resources, but every day we are moving forward and it's looking better," said Hicks.

Hicks says the storm has cost the city almost three million dollars, but as far as businesses and homes go, it’s a work in progress.

In the heart of Donalsonville is Ed's place. Before the storm, it was a place to play pool. It's also the home of Gateway Restaurant.

"A lot of stress a lot of stress," said Norma Bush, Ed’s Place Owner.

Bush and her family worked hard to open as soon as possible after their family restaurant was completely destroyed.

"It takes a family, some friends and some good cooks working to keep it running," said Bush.

A loyal customer, Kameron Gosier is happy that there's a place like it in town.

"It feels better - when everything was closed you had to travel maybe 30 miles to get something you wanted, Gosier.

As far as Ed's place, Bush tells me they plan to keep things going as it is, and for the city –

"I guarantee that we will get it cleaned up and that we will work to get it back," said Hicks.

The city has placed a July 31st goal for all clean-up to be finished.