Rex Buzzett, far left, his son Josh Buzzett and neighbor Hilda Duren stand outside the Buzzett’s home, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, that was gutted by a storm surge in Port St. Joe, Fla. Hurricane Michael devastated several homes overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in Port St. Joe, while largely sparing residents of the neighboring Gulf community of Apalachicola. (AP Photo/Russ Bynum)

Neighboring Gulf towns see different sides of storm's fury

October 12, 2018 - 10:28 am

PORT ST. JOE, Fla. (AP) — Two Gulf Coast communities barely 20 miles apart saw drastically different sides of Hurricane Michael's fury.

Rex and Nancy Buzzett returned Thursday to their waterfront home in Port St. Joe to find several feet of storm surge had smashed through the windows, blown out the brick walls and spilled their belongings outside. Many of their neighbors' homes were gutted, too.

The town of Apalachicola sits just 20 miles (32 kilometers) to the west. But its historic 19th-century homes survived largely unscathed.

Floodwaters swamped Judy Stokowski's gift shop. But her home was undamaged. The golf cart she uses for guided tours even started up after weathering the storm.

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