In the days before Hurricane Michael hit Panama City, Florida, I was monitoring the situation and one of my very best friends lived there. Once it spun up into a major hurricane, I told her to leave Panama City, and sent her the gas money to get out.
We managed to evacuate 3 adults and 5 kids, along with a number of pets. For a little while, they were stacked like cordwood in my tiny little house. But, we made it work.
The Sunday after the storm, my friend (and fellow admin) Jenn and I rode in our vehicles back to Panama City loaded down with supplies. I knew the situation was going to be bad, so we both went in heavily armed.
I’ve seen human despair and wreckage, but nothing I have experienced could have prepared me for what happened to the place I once called home. The businesses and homes I once recognized were nothing but rubble.
It has been five months, and Hurricane Michael victims are still living in tents. The media has completely forgotten about them, and the federal government has been very slow in handling claims.
Hurricane Katrina wasn’t as strong of a storm, but it made the national news and stayed there because it hit New Orleans. New Orleans would have escaped much of the damage if it hadn’t been for the levees failing. Panama City took a direct hit, while the beach just to the west was barely touched. Mexico City Beach to the east was completely devastated, as was Tyndall Air Force Base.
FEMA still hasn’t released the funding needed.
I don’t want to say “I told you so” but Bay County is a very red county in a very red part of Florida. These people supported Trump, and many still do, despite being left to fend for themselves. Trump wants to spend $8.6 billion on a border wall, but can’t be bothered to take care of Panama City and the surrounding areas devastated by Hurricane Michael. They are indeed completely disposable to him.