Chattanooga Attorney Russell King's "Sand Palace" Still Stands Tall At Mexico Beach

Monday, October 15, 2018

Chattanooga attorney Russell King, along with nephew Lebron Lackey, a Cleveland, Tn., radiologist, had built their dream beach house at a tiny Gulf village called Mexico Beach.

When Hurricane Michael roared in last week it first bore in on little Mexico Beach with all its wrath. But, amazingly, the "Sand Palace" still stands.

The story has been heralded on the New York Times, the Orlando Sentinel, CNN and others - the house that was so staunchly built that it even defied the most fierce storm the Gulf Coast has even seen.

Attorney King said, "CNN interviewed us and the New York Times has been all through the house; so has CNN, CNN International, weather channel.

etc. There are four or five satellite trucks on my street.

"This sweet community is destroyed. It's hard to believe. It looks like Hiroshima."  

The upscale beach house had been built with concrete and steel innards so that it was designed to withstand winds as high as 250 miles per hour. The roof was built snug so that it could not easily be lifted off, and the four-bedroom home was on stilts so the storm tide would not be damaging. The ground-level staircase was designed to tear away in such a storm.

Attorney King watched the gathering storm with alarm, then heard the reports about the devastation of the quaint town. As soon as it passed, he got into his pickup and headed south, finally picking his way to where the Sand Palace still stood.

Since then he has barely been able to correspond with office and friends in Chattanooga. Cell service is in and out. The person who oversees the Sand Palace for the owners said, "When he has had service, he has had a flood of messages and he is not able to respond."

Still there was this damage to the Sand Palace:
Ground floor gone, of course-privacy/pavers/shower/stuff/concrete driveway/entry way. 
Stairs gone all the way to the middle floor!
Windows out in St. Joe bedroom and top floor shower. 
Top sliding doors let water in. 
Middle floor ceiling has damage from the water. Probably more water damage too. 
Side porch ceiling gone on middle floor. 
All utilities will have to be redone. 
Heating and air units - one gone, one hanging.

In the days since the storm, the Sand Palace has become "somewhat of a staging area for news and search and rescue and relief workers."

The manager said, "We feel blessed to be able to provide any shelter possible to these volunteers."

CNN interviews Russell King and Lebron Lackey
CNN interviews Russell King and Lebron Lackey

New Soddy Daisy Fire Hall Not Yet Started Despite Major Gifts From Charitable Foundation

Rep. Howell Guides Licensure Bill Through Legislature

Rep. Mark Hall Steers First Bill Through Legislature


Since it was formed in 1992, the Red Bank Soddy Daisy Charitable Foundation has contributed $770,000 to the city of Soddy Daisy. Over the years, the money has bought a fire engine, contributed ... (click for more)

State Rep. Dan Howell (R-Cleveland) has successfully guided House Bill 951 through the Tennessee House of Representatives. The measure - which is part of Governor Bill Lee’s legislative ... (click for more)

Rep. Mark Hall (R-Cleveland) has officially passed his first bill as a member of the Tennessee General Assembly and the House Republican Caucus. His office said, "House Bill 403 is designed ... (click for more)


Breaking News

New Soddy Daisy Fire Hall Not Yet Started Despite Major Gifts From Charitable Foundation

Since it was formed in 1992, the Red Bank Soddy Daisy Charitable Foundation has contributed $770,000 to the city of Soddy Daisy. Over the years, the money has bought a fire engine, contributed to building a fire hall, and to moving and restoring Poe’s Tavern to its present location. Included in the gifts to the city have also been contributions that now total $244,000 to build another ... (click for more)

Rep. Howell Guides Licensure Bill Through Legislature

State Rep. Dan Howell (R-Cleveland) has successfully guided House Bill 951 through the Tennessee House of Representatives. The measure - which is part of Governor Bill Lee’s legislative package this year -removes licensure requirements for citizens who provide direct care to a group of no more than three people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in a Medicaid ... (click for more)

Opinion

Growth Can Continue At Ooltewah On Septic Tanks

I want to set the record straight about growth in North Hamilton County. On Feb. 21, 2019, County Mayor Coppinger called a “reset” meeting with the residents of Ooltewah/Harrison over the proposed sewer plant in North Hamilton County. In front of this community, I stood up and specifically asked the county mayor if growth could continue in Ooltewah and Harrison on septic tanks ... (click for more)

Our Roads Need To Be Repaired For Ironman

Chattanooga being a finalist for the 2021 Ironman is great news. The business gained at the local bicycle repair shops from bent rims, busted tires and warped frames should produce some great local revenue. The local physicians should see a surge as well from the twisted ankles and busted up knees from dips, humps and pot holes on our area roads that could swallow a small child. ... (click for more)

Sports

Ooltewah Invitational: Grissom's Tate Stifles Owls 7-2 With 14 Strikeouts

(Story will be updated) Grissom baseball coach Travis Tate saw his Tigers attack Ooltewah pitching on Friday and it wasn’t anything he hadn’t seen from other teams in Alabama’s Class 7A baseball over the years. “Batters in our league are aggressive, but we’ve been on an offensive skid lately because we’ve taken too many pitches early in the count,” Tate said. “We don’t want ... (click for more)

Prep Baseball: Chargers Slip Past Trojans, 4-3, In Ooltewah Invitational

Versatile senior John Rhodes can impact a baseball game in multiple ways. Thursday’s Chattanooga Christian game against host Soddy-Daisy in the Ooltewah Invitational was a perfect example. Rhodes started his team’s scoring in the first inning and ended it with alert baserunning in the seventh as the Chargers came away with a 4-3 victory over the Trojans. “Baseball is a ... (click for more)