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Neighbors discuss recovery from Santa Rosa Beach wildfire

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 8:11 PM CDT
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SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - When you drive down Thompson Road in Walton County, smaller plants are growing again, and the rebuilding of homes has begun. But neighbors say it will be a long time before things go back to normal.

“We don’t know what happened to some of these people, we don’t know where they are, or if they ever going to be able to come back around here,” said Cynthia Mims, a Santa Rosa Beach resident.

The Musset Bayou wildfire burned more than 500 acres in Santa Rosa Beach May 6th.

Residents who live near Thompson Road, which took most of the damage, said since the fire their community has changed.

"Everyone knows everyone, we would see each other, and now we don't know where some of them are," said Mims.

Mims had minimal damage to her property, which she said is unbelievable.

Walton County Emergency Management officials said they've also seen good progress with the recovery.

“At this point all their [the residents’] immediate needs have been met. We helped with getting some financing to them, we assisted with some donations, we assisted with some housing, but at this point everything seems to be going well,” said Jeff Goldberg, director of the Walton County EOC.

Mims said the community has rallied around each other.

“That was just wonderful to see that outpouring of community,” said Mims.

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