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Gadsden County Looks To Recovery After Hurricane Michael

A tree knocked down a powerline during the storm
Robbie Gaffney

More than 150,000 people are without power in the Florida panhandle after Hurricane Michael. Officials say recovery efforts are expected to extend well into November.

Crossroads Academy Charter School in Quincy, Florida remains closed but students and teachers are here distributing hot meals and water to the community.

Principal Kevin Forehand partnered with the Salvation Army and Community Coffee to provide the community with a hot meal.

“It’s devastating to an already, um, disadvantaged community," says Forehand. "People who have not planed, you know, for an additional grocery bill this month – that’s hard. That’s really hard.”

Jennelle Peeples eats with her son and daughter. She’s been out of power. Peeples, like many, didn’t evacuate and she says the storm was “terrible, just terrible."

"Just watching how the wind was blowing, it was taking all the shingles off the homes and everything," continues Peeples. "And, I was watching all the trees just break in half and just flyeverywhere.” 

Peeples says her house survived the storm. But others weren’t as lucky. Hurricane Michael’s 150 mile per hour winds downed trees and destroyed homes in areas like Panama City and Chattahoochee. 

“We are providing a variety of disaster services including, food, refreshments, emotional and spiritual care to all the displaced families throughout Tallahassee,” says Salvation Army Emergency Response Team member Janeen Johnally.

The Salvation Army is currently serving in Wakulla, Gadsden and Leon counties. And it plans to work with all affected areas.

Officials in Gadsden county hope to have most residents’ power restored by Friday, but the hardest hit areas could be in the dark for two weeks or more. 

Shawn Mulcahy is a reporter and All Things Considered host for WFSU. He graduated from Florida State University in 2019 with majors in public relations and political science. He was previously an intern at WFSU, and worked as an Account Coordinator at RB Oppenheim Associates.