MRD continues to assist with Hurricane Michael Recovery in Panama City

MRD staff members continue to provide engineering services to the City of Panama City, still recovering from Category 5 Hurricane Michael. The storm came ashore near Mexico Beach and Tyndall Air Force Base on October 10, 2018 and brought catastrophic winds and storm surge to the city. Along its destructive path, the storm devastated the Panama City and St. Andrews Marinas; however, city officials are dedicated to rebuilding the landmarks. To assist Panama City with the rehabilitation projects, MRD helped prepare cost estimates to repair and replace damaged items within marina basins and upland areas. The firm analyzed existing conditions, quantified damages, and modified engineering drawings. MRD engineers also incorporated mitigations to reinforce the marinas and provide increased structural stability and coastal resilience for future storm events. MRD worked with city engineers and consultants on the estimates, which are being used to request funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance Grant Program. The program reimburses government agencies restoring public infrastructure.

Colton Manning, MRD engineer, studied Hurricane Michael’s extensive damage at Mexico Beach and Tyndall Air Force Base at University of Florida before joining the firm; however, he was previously unaware of the damage to Panama City. He said “Panama City Marina was completely destroyed with sunken vessels and entirely missing piers that had once provided many locals their livelihood. St. Andrews Marina fared slightly better.” Manning noted “boats that did operate were forced to rely upon broken power pedestals, bent mooring piles, listing docks, limited available fuel, and malfunctioning pipes for sewer and potable water.” He stated that helping the City to continue the work to “restore the vibrant fishing community to what it once was through collaboration and dedication became a personal endeavor for me.”

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