Hurricane Michael

Nick Morrison / Unsplash

Lawmakers hope allowing state colleges impacted by Hurricane Michael to waive out of state tuition for 3 years will spur economic growth. 

Steve Cannon / AP Photo

The House Appropriations committee moved forward with their budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. But, Rep. Kionne McGhee (D-Cutler Bay) doesn’t think North Florida is being treated fairly when it comes to Hurricane Recovery.

Eastpoint residents enjoy a barbeque at the Big Top Supermarket after Hurricane Michael (10/12/2018)
Ryan Dailey / WFSU News

State taxpayer money for Hurricane Michael relief in Florida's hard-hit Panhandle would top $1.8 billion under a budget plan outlined Thursday by Senate Republican leaders.

It’s been months since Hurricane Michael struck the Panhandle, carving a swath of damage from the Gulf to the Georgia state line. Recovery is expected to take years, even a decade or more and schools are feeling the pressure. Bay County Superintendent Bill Husfelt recently spoke before the State Board of Education, outlining some of the problems that have cropped up in the wake of the storm.

In this Oct. 23, 2018 photo, Mark Ward surveys the destruction of his neighbor's mobile home in Bay County, Fla. Ward and his neighbors say that the rural parts of the county have seen little help since Hurricane Michael.
AP Photo / Tamara Lush

North Florida lawmakers are pushing a $315 million  Hurricane Michael recovery package. That’s in addition to the millions more in proposed recovery projects scattered across the counties hit by the storm. 

Mexico Beach is far from recovered after Hurricane Michael walloped the shore last fall. Now lawmakers are hoping to help speed that recovery along.

This antique store in Blountstown was severely damaged by Hurricane Michael. (October 2018)
Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Hurricane Michael has caused an estimated $25 billion in damages, according to the federal government. Efforts to get dollars into North Florida are slow and causing frustration.

Prescribed Burns Could Help Cleanup Hurricane Debris

Mar 1, 2019
Two men in yellow jackets walk through a smokey forest.
Tall Timbers Facebook page

The state is looking to prescribed fires to clean up the massive amount of timber left after Hurricane Michael. Tall Timbers’ Wildland fire scientist, Kevin Hiers , says salvaging is not going to be a viable option for most landowners in North Florida.

Upside down semi-truck on canal bank
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

Mexico Beach leaders are finding creative ways to recycle debris left behind by Hurricane Michael. 

Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

The Florida Panhandle is having a rough time recovering from Hurricane Michael, and an even harder time finding ways to fund reconstruction. 

Triumph Gulf Coast has approved $15 million  to help four Hurricane battered North Florida counties deal with property tax losses. 

Tim Donovan / FWC's Flickr

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is helping boat owners clean up damage from Hurricane Michael. The agency is storing wrecked vessels.

House with a red roof is halfway slanted into the murky waters of a canal.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

Officials from Mexico Beach and Port Saint Joe say it will take many more months to clear debris from the once pristine shore. After Hurricane Michael, the priority is shifting from recovery to rebuilding, but some residents are still in need of assistance. 

shane-rounce-268118-unsplash.jpg

The strongest storm to ever hit North Florida has left Calhoun County with a peculiar problem. Hurricane Michael left many of its residents without trashcans. Right now, there are too many missing to count.

BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig on fire in 2010.
US Coast Guard

The board controlling billions of dollars from a settlement over the 2010 BP Oil Spill meets Friday to decide whether to establish a separate fund for Hurricane Michael. There’s momentum building for leveraging the oil spill money to help the panhandle recover from the storm.

Hurricane Michael caused lots of destruction to Florida's gulf coast. Till this day trees are left uprooted and snapped in half, buildings totaled or covered in tarp, and some houses flattened.

Business owner David Smith who owns Smith Motorworks whose building survived in Panama City told his story.

Twitter/@FLSERT

Mexico Beach will be receiving hurricane recovery money soon. Blaise Gainey reports that announcement came Monday at the summit for a Resilient North Florida.

Vessels operate in the area of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on the Gulf of Mexico, Tuesday, July 13, 2010. BP officials have placed a containment cap over the leak in hopes that the flow of oil will be diminished.
Dave Martin / Associated Press (AP)

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is floating the possibility of using money from a settlement over the 2010 BP Oil Spill as leverage to help North Florida recover from one of the strongest Hurricanes in a generation. The discussion comes as the region  faces a recovery that could take a decade or more.

Marianna tree fallen hurricane michael
Shawn Mulcahy / WFSU

Northwest Florida is the site of two of the worst natural disasters in U.S. History: the 2010 BP Oil Spill and last year’s devastating Hurricane Michael. State lawmakers are floating the possibility of using some of the oil spill settlement money to help the region recover from the storm.

Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis speaks to reporters following "Industry Day" at Tyndall Air Force Base (1/31/19).
Blaise Gainey / WFSU News

Officials in charge of getting Tyndall Air Force Base back up and running gave an overview Thursday of where they are now and where they hope to be in the future. The base hosted it's first "Industry Day" since Hurricane Michael severely damaged it in October. 

marianna sign hurricane michael
Shawn Mulcahy / WFSU

Cleanup and recovery from Hurricane Michael is slow, costly and ongoing. As donations to the area stall and media coverage fades, some residents of the Forgotten Coast fear the area is living up to its name.

In this Oct. 23, 2018 photo, Mark Ward surveys the destruction of his neighbor's mobile home in Bay County, Fla. Ward and his neighbors say that the rural parts of the county have seen little help since Hurricane Michael.
AP Photo / Tamara Lush

Bay County is trying to speed up its recovery from Hurricane Michael and it's reaching out for recommendations from businesses. 


Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center / Facebook

After removing debris from Hurricane Michael, Tyndall Air Force base is now inviting the construction industry, architectural firms and others to share what they see as a great opportunity to rebuild the base.

Robbie Gaffney

Although not very large in mass Hurricane Michael brought a powerful blow to the panhandle. Since, communities in the target area have been struggling to find funds to pay for the debris cleanup, even with help from the federal government.

The announcement that the feds will be providing more funding has removed some of the burden on local governments.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Governor Ron DeSantis says some additional relief is coming for communities hit by Hurricane Michael. After a meeting with President Donald Trump, DeSantis announced Thursday the Federal Emergency Management Agency will extend its period of reimbursement for debris cleanup costs.

Pages