PROVINCETOWN, Mass. — Paul Fanizzi had a bad feeling Friday morning. His restaurant along the water in Provincetown has weathered bad storms before, but this one felt different.
“It flooded everything. It took everything out,” Fanizzi said.
The storm surge Friday broke through the dining room wall of Fanizzi’s Restaurant on Commercial St. and devastated everything inside. Fanizzi has owned the restaurant for 22 years and said this is the second time a bad storm wiped out his business. A similar flood happened in 2002.
“I’ve been through it before and you can’t do anything. Everybody wants to do something while the tide is crashing in, and you can’t. It’s mother nature and you have to wait until high tide is gone,” Fanizzi said. “[The restaurant] is lower than normal. It should be higher up. The flood insurance people want you to build higher up on stilts, but that would cost a million dollars to raise the whole building.”
Fanizzi said his 31 full-time employees are now out of work. A GoFundMe account for the staff far exceeded its goal, with more than 500 donors contributing more than $58,000. Fanizzi is applying for the permits to rebuild and hopes to be back open in March.
“You do lose some things which is upsetting, but there’s no loss of life which is the best thing. There’s more hardship in the world and we can rebuild,” Fanizzi said.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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