Michael Recovery Starts Amid ‘Unimaginable’ Destruction

October 12, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott called the destruction from Hurricane Michael “unimaginable,” as “homes are gone, businesses are gone.”

A state emergency-management official said all hospitals in the impacted region have reported some form of “critical failure” — water and sewage problems or infrastructure issues such as crumbling walls — that required patients to be relocated and medical field hospitals to be set up. (Pictured left: A patient from Panama City arrives at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola on Thursday.)

The official said that after Hurricane Irma in September 2017, a field hospital was required in the Florida Keys for a year, and similar situations may be required with Michael.

Similar issues were arising at nursing homes, and crews were flying in supplies to Florida State Hospital at Chattahoochee, which serves patients with mental illness.

Meanwhile, the state is expecting a surge in humanitarian needs, from a lack of food and water to housing

Scott traveled Thursday afternoon with the Florida National Guard to Panama City and Mexico Beach, where Michael came ashore midday Wednesday with 155 mph maximum sustained winds, the strongest ever recorded in the region.

Scott, who expressed frustration about people dismissing evacuation orders on Tuesday as Michael rapidly grew into a Category 4 storm, told evacuees not to return home as roads remain closed by flooding, downed trees and power lines.

“It’s going to take some time to survey and clear all the roads,” Scott said.

The Florida National Guard has deployed 3,500 members for search-and-rescue and humanitarian aid, with assistance from National Guard units from as far away as New York and Kansas. The Florida Highway Patrol has 450 troopers working in the Panhandle, while 150 Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers are conducting rescue missions.

Search teams — working by air, boat and on the ground — have entered Panama City, Mexico Beach, Alligator Point, Eastpoint, St. George Island and Apalachicola. The U.S. Coast Guard ran 10 rescue missions into the region Wednesday night.

The Red Cross is bringing in 500 disaster relief workers.

More than 5,000 people were in 34 shelters that have been opened across the region.

by The News Service of Florida

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.


4 Responses to “Michael Recovery Starts Amid ‘Unimaginable’ Destruction”

  1. Al on October 14th, 2018 9:51 pm

    I-10 is open in both directions. 231 is open but due to the debris you will be waiting in traffic for hours south of 20. 77 is open as well. Washington county prison has damage but operational. There is no cell service out there in some places but they are putting up temporary tower (signals from trailers) it’s really hot or miss with cell service. Lynn Haven has some cell service. There is no power no water. I ask that if anyone is willing to help contact the Bay County EOC. There has been some companies down there charging $2000 to cut the top of a tree ( 1-tree) from a roof leaving it in you yard (scams) so be wise in who you deal with. There are sharks praying on the desperate and we need to watch out for one another and not let this happen.

  2. Debbie on October 13th, 2018 11:00 pm

    Is I-10 and 231 open to traffic?

  3. Sharon Estrada on October 12th, 2018 2:57 pm

    Trying to find out information on damages near the prison in Washington County, my nephew lives alone and has not been heard from. Near Moss Hill Rd.

  4. ALEX on October 12th, 2018 9:07 am

    can you even begin to imagine how much more devastation we would have sustained if this hurricane had been moving at just 3 or 4 mph. thank God Michael was a fast mover. praying for all involved .

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