Tybee restaurant wants compensation for lost business after Hurricane Matthew

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Drone photographs in this story are courtesy of Photographed by Andy Young

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – On Thursday, the owners of a Tybee Island business are asking city council members to compensate them for lost business in the months after Hurricane Matthew.

They say they lost sales when the parking lot outside their restaurant — North Beach Bar and Grill — was used as a dump site for debris collected after the storm.

“We were surrounded by 20, 30 foot piles of trees, mulch and other debris,” said Kathryn Williams, who owns the restaurant and bar with her partner. Both are appearing before city council members at their monthly meeting.

Williams leases her restaurant from the city, which is one reason she says it should compensate her for the loss of business.

Plus, she says “the city was the agency responsible for the recovery effort… so they’re … responsible for any mitigations.”

Because of noise, smoke, and no beach access, Willaims said she lost nearly $100,000 in sales during the recovery effort, which took months.

Mayor Jason Buelterman says the issue is complicated and the city attorney is looking into it.

“We need to get clear information and justification for it,” he said. “I’m sure future council and mayors will do what they can if we are — God forbid — affected by Hurricanes in the future. Her business was affected by Matthew and we’ll do all we can in a justifiable and legal way.”

North Beach Bar and Grill is closed for the time being because it is undergoing renovations.

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