‘May God Be With All Of Us’ – Army Combat Photographer Shares Michael’s Small Town Damage

October 14, 2018

“My home, the city of southern charm, has been laid to waste. Honestly the pictures do not do the destruction, justice. May God be with all of us.”

Those were the words of U.S. Army combat photographer SPC Scott Hagan after seeing the devastation of Hurricane Michael in his hometown of Marianna.

“I am fortunate as an active duty soldier stationed in California, whose career field happens to be combat camera; that I was allowed to come home on Emergency Leave to not only help my family and friends from this monstrosity, but to document this truly historic, disheartening, and immense event,” he said.

Some of the news we’ve seen following Hurricane Michael has centered on Panama City and Mexico Beach. While the devastation there is catastrophic, residents of small towns like Marianna and Blountstown are hurting. They are the little communities that do not want to be forgotten.

“The destruction is hard to describe. It’s as if a huge tornado hit the entire county. The majority of trees are down or snapped in half. No one was left untouched, no one. Half the homes in (Jackson County) are in ruins.”

“The damage to businesses in my community are just as bad. The hospital, the sheriff station, and even Walmart all are without roofs. Historic downtown is heartbreaking. Monuments and buildings from the late 1800s are no longer standing.”

To see more of Hagan’s pictures, click here.

Pictured top: “The pic of the storm right here,” Hagan said. Pictured below: Historic downtown Marianna.  Picture further below: What is left of the inside of a Hibett Sports store, the old train depot in Marianna and a damaged home downtown. Hagan said about half the homes in the area sustained heavy damage.  Pictured bottom: The historic St. Luke Baptist Church, founded in 1867, did not survive Hurricane Michael. Photos by SPC Jeffrey Scott Hagan for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.


8 Responses to “‘May God Be With All Of Us’ – Army Combat Photographer Shares Michael’s Small Town Damage”

  1. Kathy on October 17th, 2018 8:53 am

    They town is at a lost it’s been hit so hard and seems like all the little towns get left out .i have lived in Cottondale and Marianna for years love them both but my home town would b Cottondale my son was raised there .. we need help in all shape and form please don’t forget us we’ve in need of major help also . My daughters house was saved thank the lord but can’t get to it for a the trees her husband is by his self cutting them down so we can come home soon . Prayers goes out to everyone and hoping to bring these towns alive again .. amen

  2. Linda Abbott Tice on October 17th, 2018 12:19 am

    I’m actually from Round Lake, FL but always called Marianna my home town!!
    It breaks my heart to see the destruction!!
    Still have so many family and friends all over
    Jackson and Washington counties!!
    Thank God their lives and homes were spared!!!
    Prayers are being said for All in the area!!

  3. anita kroha on October 14th, 2018 1:07 pm

    yes, the towns to the north of mexico beach, panama city, etc have been forgotten. i knew people in these towns having had a trucking company business there. my drivers came from these small towns. my hope is that they survived. thank you, spc steve hagan, for these heart wrenching pictures. without your photos we would not have been aware.

  4. tg on October 14th, 2018 10:11 am

    Lets support these folks until they are totally healed ,not just a few days.

  5. Beulah Boy on October 14th, 2018 9:28 am

    Oct 21, 1972 my wife and I got married in Pensacola. We left for Panama City for our honeymoon and then to Marianna to see the caverns. We loved the town and its quaint nature. On our 40th anniversary we made the trip again in memory and now to see the destruction to both areas is very heartbreaking.

    Having been through Ivan in 2004 we survived and the area will rebuild as all will come together to help each other.

    God Bless and our prayers go out to everyone.

  6. Jackie Johnson on October 14th, 2018 8:12 am

    We just drove on the outskirts of Marianna yesterday, got off onto Hwy 71 to Clarksville and the damage is horrendous. DOT was working as hard as they could to get debris cleared to make through paths for all the help that is needed going and coming into from Marianna through to Bristol, Clarksville is located on Hwy 73 between Altha and Marianna. We carried specific needs to the Travelers Rest Free Will Baptist Church. Those people in Clarksville and Blountstown may not have power for weeks according the REA in that area, grids are completely gone. The 2 truck stops at the exit were opened until 4. We saw cars with tanks of gas strapped across the top for generators and etc. We will be going back at sometime. We saw trees and debris on almost every house or property we drove by. Cotton modules had exploded and cotton was spread all over the place. We Christians need to be faithfully praying for everyone in the hard hit areas from Hurricane Michael. We lived through Ivan, lost pecan trees, two bedrooms demolished by water entering through the eves, but nothing compared to what we saw yesterday. I pray the people will look to God and let him lead. SPC Scott Hagan thank you for asking for emergency leave so you could come and help your family and show the people of Florida the small areas that are hurting. Please tell your superiors thank you!

  7. Nancy Ward on October 14th, 2018 5:06 am

    Excellent, heartbreaking photographs.

  8. Heartbroken on October 14th, 2018 3:11 am

    This breaks my heart. It really does. When I got married in 1971, my husband wanted to go to Marianna for our honeymoon because he’d been working there with a Teledyn crew and wanted me to see how beautiful the place was. We were so young, we’d never been anywhere or seen anything. Even at that young age, the beauty of that small town made me fall in love with it. All the old live oaks, the caves. The people were all so welcoming and made me feel right at home, We stayed a few days and the memories have stayed with me for nearly fifty years now.

    We always see the destruction on the coastline after a major hurricane, but rarely get a glimpse of how people inland have been hit. It truly is like a hundred mile wide tornado that takes out everything in its path. Thank you, SPC Scott Hagan. Tell us about it, because the people here in Flomaton, Alabama understand. Ivan almost destroyed us, but 14 years later we’ve come back.

    I didn’t see a squirrel for years after Ivan, but they’re back in force now. The deer, the turkeys, they were very rare after the storm, but they’ve recovered too. The trees will never be the same, the ones that survived. But we’re still standing. And you good folks will too.

    I have no shade trees left, but don’t worry about anything else falling on me, The buildings have been replaced or rebuilt and Ivan is just a bad memory. My thoughts and prayers are with you folks. And you will recover from this… you will come back.

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