‘Capitola Village is open’: Focus on recovery, returning to business in hardest-hit coastal areas

Capitola, California (KGO) — Across Santa Cruz County, the focus is on recovery and reopening businesses after recent storms tore up beachfront properties and left them in the dark for days.

More rain may arrive, but many of the worst-hit coastal towns are asking visitors to come, shop and help.

The band playing at the Cork and Folk Capitola on Friday night sang, “This is my business! Business is good!” Many of Capitola Village’s lyrics hope to come true soon.

The town was sparsely populated, but provided a welcome sight.

MORE: High wave warning issued evacuation warning along Santa Cruz County coast

But owner Cathy Bentley admitted, “It feels like whiplash. I feel like I can’t breathe.”

Bentley was describing years of battling bad weather during a pandemic. Still, she wants to make a difference. Bently is raising money for the Santa Cruz County Disaster Fund to establish homes for those dependent on the hardest-hit businesses.

“This is going to make me cry,” she told ABC7 News. I feel responsible.”

The overall goal is to get people to come. Many feel there is a misconception that the village has closed after seeing waterfront buildings severely damaged. However, the sign posted clearly said, “Capitola Village is open.”

Video: Storm Damage: Before-and-after views of the hardest-hit areas of Santa Cruz’s Capitola

“We had a BIA business meeting this morning with a number of business owners,” said Julie Monet, owner of Monet Salon Capitola.

Kathleen French, owner of Katalina’s by the Sea, adds: Everyone here is my friend. And the relationships we build are incredible. ”

On Friday, the Frenchman grabbed a microphone and a karaoke machine and made his way through the village before visiting shops that had reopened.

In Aptos, the Friends of Santa Cruz State Park is undergoing partial restoration work. They launched a fund focused on long-term support of the iconic Seacliff State Beach.

MORE: Storm cleanup concerns Santa Cruz County as beach towns prepare for more rain

“The devastation has been incredible, but it continues,” Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks Director Bonnie Hawley told ABC7 News. It’s still early days in terms of knowing what the price tag will be to repair the , but we want to be there and provide ways for the community to support it over time. .”

The determination of those who have suffered so much throughout Santa Cruz County only underscores the unwavering resilience of the community.

Catalina’s by the Sea’s Shannon Myers said, “In this storm, and now with the impact of COVID-19, we’ve seen a truly united people experiencing their own devastation and tragedy. “And try talking to other people, ‘How are you? What do you need? What should I do?'”

Click here to access the Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks fundraiser.

Click here to access the Santa Cruz County Disaster Fund fundraiser.

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