After Hurricane Ivan, employees of Pompano Joe's in Miramar Beach returned to find that much of their restaurant had escaped heavy damage. What was missing next door is what caused them to worry.
When waiter Kimberley Edgar found out Hurricane Ivan was headed for the Emerald Coast, she wondered if she'd soon be out of a job.
"I was afraid the hurricane would take the building out. I mean, a category 4 storm comes through; of course you're going to be worried. We saw it on the Weather Channel and you had to hope for the best really."
Fortunately the building survived, but the parking lot washed out to sea. Downstairs, the beach bar also didn't make it. Managers came back five days after the hurricane and decided to open three weeks later.
Manager Kimberly Dixon says, “Things started out slow. We didn't know if we were going to be able to reopen immediately because of the parking lot. The county really worked with us to get some parking places so we could reopen.”
All the “no parking” signs on the beachside of old Highway 98 have been removed and the restaurant has put up a temporary entrance. Managers say they should have the parking lot back by March. The beach bar will take about a year, but the customers have already returned, which has everyone breathing a sigh of relief.
Waiter Kimberly Edgars adds, "A lot of people, they've been like ‘we've been waiting for ya'll to get open; we came by a couple of times after the storm.’ I think everybody was really excited as well that Pompano's did get reopened and it’s pretty much back to business as usual"
Manager Kimberly Dixon says, “And we are going nowhere, thank goodness."