DOG ISLAND — Bradlee Shanks sobbed as he walked the streets of Dog Island on Thursday after just breaking news to nine of his neighbors that their homes were no more.
“I’m shocked and tearful, quite honestly," Shanks said. "It's sad. People love this place and I feel bad for them.”
Shanks decided to ride out Hurricane Michael on the island. He built his house himself and wanted to see if it could withstand the storm. However, he didn’t realize how strong it would be.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know how much of the responsibility will be on homeowners,” he said. “It’s a whole logistical nightmare here without a bridge, to get rid of debris and put it on a boat of some kind.”
A barrier island located 3 miles off the coast from Carrabelle, Dog Island is accessible only by boat. The small island is almost completely destroyed and cut off from the rest of the world at the moment.
“The Old Pelican Inn was already falling in, but after this storm it’s like it never existed,” Shanks said. “There were a couple houses out here and there’s no sign of them anymore. It all just got wiped away.”
Shanks was one of two people that stayed behind Wednesday. While he is not injured, he’s not sure of the condition of the other man. Thursday morning, he made his way to go check on him.
“I don’t know what to think,” he said as he started to cry. “All I can do right now is take lots of pictures and just let everybody know.”