Built for the Big One: How One House in Mexico Beach is Still Standing
17 Oct 2018 12:55 PM
While most of the buildings in Mexico Beach, Florida were reduced to rubble by Hurricane Michael, one stood tall and strong. Lebron Lackey and his uncle, Russell King, finished construction on the vacation home known as "Sand Palace" in early 2018. Little did they know, Mother Nature would soon put it to the ultimate test.
“We don’t have near as beautiful a home as some folks or as we would like to have had, but we thought well someday it might make a difference. Had no idea that that someday would be in October of 2018. But here we are and miraculously we made it.” Reflected Lackey.
Inspired by structures in Costa Rica built to withstand earthquakes, Lackey and King poured over every detail. Going above and beyond building codes.
“Our foremost concern was survivability… The window behind me here was two windows there, were combined into one. So there’s more concrete. We did that all over. We took windows out and put concrete in.” detailed Lackey.
Despite all of the planning, despite every painstaking design, they still knew it would never be enough. Evacuation was the only option for guests.
King said “They actually pulled all of our furniture in the house. But there was never any doubt. They started doing that in plenty of time to make sure that they had battened down the hatches so to speak, and were able to get out. If they had not been able to do that… there was never any question to get out.”
According to the Sand Palace Facebook page, the ground and middle floors did experience serious internal water and wind damage. After seeing the damage all around their home, King has one final word of advice. “When you’re listening to WeatherNation or anybody and they say the storm is coming, get out. Get out. Get out. It’s not worth your life.”