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St. Joe evaluates damage after Hurricane Michael

Josh and Nancy Buzzett talk Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, outside the family’s home in Port St. Joe, Fla., a day after it was gutted by a storm surge from Hurricane Michael. The powerful storm wrecked several homes overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in Port St. Joe, but largely spared the neighboring coastal community of Apalachicola. (AP Photo/Russ Bynum)
Josh and Nancy Buzzett talk Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, outside the family’s home in Port St. Joe, Fla., a day after it was gutted by a storm surge from Hurricane Michael. The powerful storm wrecked several homes overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in Port St. Joe, but largely spared the neighboring coastal community of Apalachicola. (AP Photo/Russ Bynum) (Associated Press)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – While saying the majority of its properties “incurred minimal or no damage” in Hurricane Michael, The St. Joe Co. said in Securities and Exchange Commission filings Wednesday that it is continuing to evaluate losses from the massive Oct. 10 storm.

The company, long a major landowner and developer in Northwest Florida, said its Bay Point Marina in Bay County and Port St. Joe Marina in Gulf County “suffered significant loss requiring long-term restoration and remain closed. The company maintains property and business interruption insurance, subject to certain deductibles, and is currently assessing claims under such policies; however, the timing and amount of insurance proceeds are uncertain and may not be sufficient to cover all losses.”

Also, the company said it lost about 3 percent of its timber, primarily in eastern Bay County and Gulf County.

“Approximately 234,000 tons of timber were affected and will be salvaged or lost,” the company said. “The majority of the company’s other timberlands have little or no damage.”

In a news release that was part of Wednesday’s filings, Jorge Gonzalez, the company’s president and CEO, indicated the company plans to speed up projects to meet housing and business needs in the region.

“I have been asked about the impact of Hurricane Michael on (the company), to which I have responded quickly and consistently. Hurricane Michael has forced a reprioritization and acceleration of projects for homes, apartment rentals, hotels, offices, retail, and manufacturing spaces --- especially in Bay County and Gulf County,” Gonzalez said. “Northwest Florida is our home and we have the people, capital, and first-hand knowledge of local areas to immediately start accelerating the implementation of our pipeline. Over the last couple of years, we have brought new partners to the market to help develop other types of physical assets and services needed for thriving communities. Additionally, these relationships will give us the horsepower to accelerate and add needed projects. Our partners tell us they are equally committed to fairly meeting demands for different types of spaces for displaced families and businesses.”

The Category 4 hurricane made landfall in Mexico Beach in southeastern Bay County and caused massive damage as it continued north into Georgia.