Panama City Beach tornado leaves behind expensive damage

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 5:21 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Last week’s tornado left a heavy price tag behind for the City of Panama City Beach and surrounding businesses.

“We believe we have about $125,000 of damage,” Panama City Beach Parks and Recreation Director Jim Ponek said.

Two backstops and three sets of bleachers now thrown to the dumpsters at Frank Brown Park. The EF-0 tornado tore through Panama City Beach, leaving a very big mark with a big price tag.

”The city is researching what is insured and what is not insured at this time, and we will try to repair as much we can in-house,” Ponek said.

Ponek also said repairs have already begun but they won’t be fully back open at Frank Brown Park until March 1.

”Some of these tournaments are going to have to figure that out. We’re trying to come up with some backup plans,” Ponek said.

Over at Funland Arcade and Snack Bar, General Manager Joel McDavid said they’re waiting on an exact cost for repairs but he has an idea what it’ll come out to be.

”It’ll end up being over $20,000,” McDavid said.

It’s not ideal for the arcade, which was going to open Wednesday. Now they have to start tourism season losing money and opportunities to better the business.

”We were going to purchase a new walk-in freezer, and we’ve kind of slid that back a little bit to see what this final figure is going to be on the cost,” McDavid said.

For now, both places bear the scars of the storm. Both are working to get back up and running as soon as possible.

”Who would have thought you’d see a bleacher be picked up and put on top of a backstop?” Ponek said.

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