ORLANDO, Fla. – A year after Hurricane Michael, the Florida county hardest hit by the Category 5 storm is still in crisis.
Thousands in Bay County are homeless, medical care and housing are at a premium, and officials say domestic violence has been an issue.
Michael was among the strongest hurricanes ever to make landfall in the United States. It barreled onto the Florida Panhandle on Oct. 10, 2018, with 160 mph winds, ripping homes from their foundations and devastating Tyndall Air Force Base.
It left 22,000 of Bay County’s then-180,000 residents homeless and resulted in total insured losses of almost $7 billion.
This summer, county officials unveiled a nearly 300-page blueprint to rebuild. Among their ideas: Use shipping containers and 3-D technology to build new houses and offer signing bonuses to lure new doctors.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.