Irma cleanup continues in coastal communities - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Irma cleanup continues in coastal communities

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SUNBURY, GA (WTOC) -

Our Coastal communities suffered plenty at the hands of Hurricane Irma as she tracked through our area. Many folks in Bryan, Liberty and Mcintosh Counties are still cleaning up after record tides came through their homes and businesses.

One family-owned restaurant in Liberty County opened Thursday for the first night since Irma. They told us every night they couldn’t open marked a night they lost valuable money.

It's been a week of sweeping and cleaning for Henry Campbell and his coworkers.

"Just getting the place up to par,” said Campbell.

Customers are finally back inside eating at the Sunbury Crab Company.

"I think everybody's happy to be back to work and back to life as usual kind of,” said Joe Maley.

Joe and Clay Maley run the kitchen for their parents at Sunbury Crab Company. That business and their home stood in the path of the rising waters from Irma on Monday.

"We felt comfortable with the wind, but watching that water come in was a different ball game,” said Joe Maley.

"I'm 32 and I remember back since I was 5, and I don't think I've ever seen the water that high,” said Clay Maley.

On the water, you can see the damage done—mangled dock after mangled dock from that tide and storm surge. Perhaps the most devastating damage is a pile of wood. It's what's left of the original Sunbury Lodge.

Back on dry land, one of the last members of the family who built that lodge got a look at the devastation.

"It's a piece of your heart that's ripped out that can never come back,” said Madelyn Morgan.

She spent the last few days going through the debris looking for what memories made it through the storm. She knows they'll eventually clean up.

"It's community. It's community and everybody is helping everybody and that's what it's all about,” said Morgan.

This restaurant is a big part of that community. Everyone from the chef to the owner is happy to be back in business.

"Sit through a 4 day storm or wait four days for a storm. Both are just as bad. You're on the clock. If you don't have cash flow, you're on the clock.  You can't go on long,” said owner Bernard Maley.

Thankfully this time, the only thing lost was a little bit of business and not much else. The tough thing about Irma—it forced people to evacuate last week so the Maleys had to close their place despite having nearly picture perfect weather last Friday and Saturday. They, like a lot of others in the area, are thankful the worst of Irma stayed away from us.

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