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Hurricane Michael Leaves a Sobering Reality
Hurricane Michael, Panama City.
Hurricane Michael, Panama City.
Hurricane Michael, Panama City.
Hurricane Michael, Panama City.
Hurricane Michael, Panama City.
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Hurricane Michael, Panama City.

One of the most sobering truths is that life can drastically change in a second. For many on the Gulf Coast, one of these moments of change came on October 10, 2018, when Hurricane Michael roared ashore. Michael hit land as a Category 4 and was just two miles shy of a category 5 hurricane. With 155mph top sustained winds, a storm surge of maximum 14ft, and extremely low barometric pressure, Hurricane Michael is the 3rd most powerful storm ever to hit the US mainland.

Pictures and news reports can hardly capture the devastation of communities, properties, and families that have been so profoundly affected by this monster storm. Many have described the scene after Michael as a “war zone,” as houses, businesses, schools, and hospitals were flattened, flooded, and damaged. All along such “Forgotten Coast” communities as Springfield, Port St. Joe, Mexico Beach, Southport, Panama City, and many others, residents have been left to sift through the rubble of their homes and their lives. It is estimated that Hurricane Michael will have caused 4.5 billion dollars worth of damage along the Gulf Coast and even into neighboring states. In the Florida Panhandle, an estimated 4,240 single residences have been completely destroyed. In this same area, 15,876 homes have been damaged. As of now, the death toll in these communities has reached 23, with numbers possibly rising. Because of the lack of communication in this area due to damaged cellular networks, there has been no accurate account of missing people so far. As for the residents who have been accounted for, thousands remain in emergency and temporary shelters. Adding to their hardships, more than 124,000 of them are still without power.

In the face of all of this destruction, there has been a spirit of hope and resolution to bring back to life the communities that are still reeling from the blow dealt by Hurricane Michael. Hundreds of volunteers from all over the Gulf Coast have traveled to the affected areas to deliver food, clothing, water, and supplies. Thousands of dollars have been raised from sources all over the country to help piece back together life along the Gulf Coast. If you would like to be involved in helping your neighbors in the Panhandle recover from Hurricane Michael, here are some excellent ways to contribute:

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We at Coastal Lifestyle Magazine want to extend our deepest sympathies to all who have been affected by Hurricane Michael and its aftermath. Our little slice of paradise is home to some of the world’s most gorgeous sights, welcoming spaces, and delicious flavors. For all of the beauty along the gulf coast, we have to live with the reality that with the changing winds, life could change for any of us. CLM is standing with heart and hands for all who are rebuilding their lives and communities after Hurricane Michael.

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