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Hurricane Michael Upgrade To Category 5 Took Resident’s Breath Away

 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.
Tamara Lush
Associated Press

Hurricane Michael was actually at Category 5 storm when it made landfall in Mexico Beach October 10. That's the official word today from scientists at the Natoinal Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Briney King lives in Panama city. "As soon as I heard that it was upgraded, the storm was upgraded to a Category 5, it literally took my breath away," King says

We first spoke with Briney King form her home in Panama City in the days after Michael hit. Her family rode out the storm and their home had a minimal damage.

But King says many Panhandle residents are still suffering.

"And I hope that's what our nation sees--when they realize that the last 6 months have been litterally a living hell for this area," King says.

Residents of Panama City and other hard hit areas came to the Capitol this week to bed lawmakers for help with struggling schools, debris removal and a shortage of affordable housing.

Gina Jordan is the host of Morning Edition for WFSU News. Gina is a Tallahassee native and graduate of Florida State University. She spent 15 years working in news/talk and country radio in Orlando before becoming a reporter and All Things Considered host for WFSU in 2008. Follow Gina: @hearyourthought on Twitter. Click below for Gina's full bio.