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Looking forward three years after Hurricane Michael

Published: Oct. 10, 2021 at 10:09 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Sunday marks three years since category five storm Hurricane Michael tore through the panhandle. Trees were torn down, buildings crumbled to the floor, and residents were devastated.

“This was a really, really serious punch. It dislocated people forever. It changed lives and obviously changed this community,” Governor Ron DeSantis said.

Hurricane Michael made landfall on October 10, 2018.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been three years, and we’re seeing the elements of what happened here three years ago,” Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said.

We knew coming back from this monstrous storm wouldn’t be easy or quick.

“When you have a storm of that magnitude, it’s not something that can be dealt with in days, weeks, months. I mean this is a long-term project,” DeSantis said.

But our community is relentless.

“I am proud of the fact that we all live here and we all can pick ourselves up by our bootstraps the day after Hurricane Michael,” State Representative Jay Trumbull said.

Governor DeSantis said more than $1 billion have gone towards recovery efforts.

“Things like debris removal and processing individual systems and obviously with federal reimbursements,” DeSantis said. “But obviously we’re still in the fight and we’re still going to do more.”

Friday, DeSantis announced another $3.1 million in awards. The money is part of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s Rebuild Florida Hazard Mitigation Grant Match Program. The majority will be going to Bay County for generators, waterlines, and emergency services. It’s one more step forward on our ongoing journey to recovery.

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