Hurricane Florence impacts both seafood industry and coastal restaurants

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SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — The impacts of Florence are taking a toll on businesses across the Cape Fear, especially the seafood industry.

Robert Trombley’s waterfront restaurant Fishy Fishy relies on the seafood industry. He says the restaurant is lucky to be open right now, but he says business is nowhere near where it usually is.

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“We basically have no business,” said Trombley.

When Hurricane Florence arrived in Southport, it did a number on Trombley’s restaurant.

Trombley had to replace his whole dock, and he needs a new roof, floor and air conditioner. While’s doing the best he can to say open, he’s not quite sure if his business will survive.

“And there are no tourists. Nobody is going to come to Brunswick County because it is a disaster area. So business will just kind of fix itself,” said Trombley.

So far, he’s lost a month’s worth of business. He estimates the loss to be at least hundred thousand dollars. Trombley is one of the few restaurants even able to open. The menu is limited though.

“The main thing is the docks are all torn up. I mean everything down here has been displaced and thrown everywhere. And they’re thinking about putting another whole new thing on the other side of this shop basin. But it’s going to be cramped and we’re not going to be able to back out and move around like we want to,” said fisherman Albert Dosher.

Dosher says their docks are destroyed, making it difficult to fish these waters. He is also concerned the about the quality of the water filled with debris, sewage and other pollutants.

Dosher says shellfish harvested from these waters could pose problems for local restaurants. But Trombley says they will serve whatever they can.

“Everything will take time. I won’t close. We’ll be open. I might close this half. I might do this half of the roof first, but we were closed enough,” said Trombley.