Hurricane Michael struck the sunshine state in 2018 and left considerable damage. Although efforts have been made to fix the panhandle, the relief effort could be strengthened if certain elements were put into place.
In an interview with Florida Rep. Neal Dunn, he informed the Floridian of the progress that’s been made in rebuilding the state but also the amount of work that still lies ahead.
Speaking on the effects of Hurricane Michael, Dunn explained that “the Hurricane made it past the news very quickly because our telecoms were down. So, we couldn’t get the news out,” and this resulted in that “the country kinda forgot us.”
Since the Hurricane struck Florida last year, news has been mum in place of other topics that are dominating the news rounds. But, there’s still damage to be cleared because, as Dunn explained, “this was a 4.9 storm. This was 2 miles an hour slower than Hurricane Andrew, which was a cat 5… The eye itself was 30 miles across. This is a huge storm. Nobody had seen damage like this in America ever. 100 miles wide, 100 miles deep. 3 million acres of timber on the ground. It’s like a tornado not a hurricane.”
He further detailed that, “in Panama City, 30% of the homes are uninhabitable. Almost half of our Sheriff deputies are homeless but still workin’.”
However, disaster relief has been swift, but more help would guarantee that the job is done much quicker.
When asked what is needed to finish the cleanup effort and to ensure that the sunshine state is fully rebuilt, Dunn said that “we’re halfway through the debris removal. That’s across all ten counties. We’re gonna need a lot more help from FEMA. We’re gonna need a lot more help from HUD on long-term permanent housing fixes.”
Concerning the response that FEMA has had in helping out, Dunn pointed out that “everybody loves to hate FEMA.”
However, “this is what I would say about FEMA. It’s not as fast as we’d like, but it’s faster than they ever have been in any other storms. So, we did better with them than any other storm on record.”