Eight Months After Michael, Small Inland Towns Are Slow To Heal (With Photo Gallery)

June 23, 2019

Many families in Marianna are stuck in a living hell eight months after Hurricane Michael made landfall as a Category 5 monster about 60 miles away in Mexico Beach.

While some have started the rebuilding process, much of Marianna still looks much like it did last fall. The picture above? A family still lives there with little protection from summer’s weather. The trailer home pictured below in black and white? FEMA says it’s still livable. It’s just below the picture of the gas station that’s still open in Marianna’s “new normal”. And it’s the new normal for many other small towns well north of Michael’s coastal landfall in Mexico Beach.

These pictures, and many more like them, were taken this month and shared with NorthEscambia.com by U.S. Army combat photographer SPC Scott Hagan. Marianna is his hometown.

For a gallery of photos taken just a few days ago in Marianna, click here.

“I rode around the remnants of a town I called home. My first time being back in the City of Southern Charm since Hurricane Michaels initial landfall and I’m still in disbelief. These little farming communities that dot the landscape of the Panhandle of Florida remain unrecognizable. These pictures were not taken days, nor weeks, or even a couple months after the wrath of God stormed upon land,” Hagan said. “This is how people are living, working, and picking up the pieces of what’s left of not only their lives, but the communities we all call home.”

Hagan documented the destruction in his hometown and other small inland towns in the first few days after Michael.

“And once the storm was over, you don’t remember how you made it through the terror, or how you managed to survive it’s power. You aren’t even sure if in its aftermath, is the nightmare really over? But one thing is certain, when you came out of the hurricane, you were no longer the same the person who greeted the storm. That’s why God sent the storm in the first place; because smooth seas don’t make for skilled sailors,” he said.

Photos by SPC Scott Hagan for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.


5 Responses to “Eight Months After Michael, Small Inland Towns Are Slow To Heal (With Photo Gallery)”

  1. WOW on June 24th, 2019 12:44 pm

    This is terrible. I thought more would have been accomplished on getting people back to normal. Of course, I’m on the outside looking in. I feel for you all in those areas.

  2. miixster on June 24th, 2019 12:25 pm

    this happens every hurricane. Relief efforts flock to the coastal cities while the inland towns are mostly forgotten. It happened during Katrina with the towns in Ms which actually got the hurricane. It happened with Ivan right here around north escambia and in the Atmore community.

  3. DT on June 24th, 2019 11:48 am

    Seeing these photos and reading the story makes me think about the people who had to rebuild after the incredible destruction of the second world war. It was a long, arduous process. It was the same for us here after Hurricane Ivan. That event definitively changed Pensacola and this region, forever. There can be amazing economic times after such horrible tragedies, but there’s got to be outside investment. My heart goes out to the elderly, displaced, sick and widowed that are having to deal with this calamity.

  4. estelle C whiddon on June 24th, 2019 6:07 am

    No one really knows what our life is like in the aftermath. .my entire farm was destroyed and our house. life goes on. it is a relief to drive away some time just to get a chance to see the world without any destruction. .

  5. Preston Hardy on June 23rd, 2019 3:08 pm

    The politicians you have elected have other priorities. Helping people recover from a natural disaster is not among them.

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