Hurricane of emotions

Images of hurricane damage bring horror to home

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Watching the news as Hurricane Michael hit is a nightmare. Seeing the rubble of places that I love to visit, destroyed is devastating. Thinking of my family who are trapped is crippling.

I honestly didn’t even know a hurricane was tearing through the Gulf Coast until I received a frantic call from my aunt. Port Saint Joe, a small town two hours west of Panama City, is normally protected from storms because of Cape San Blas but this time it wasnt enough. The storm tore through the cape and all cities on the Forgotten Highway as well as bigger cities on the gulf. I watched with dread, wondering if my family was safe.

When pictures of Mexico Beach surfaced, the true horror was realized. The power and phone lines were dead  leaving my us to imagine what my family’s house looked like, only 10 miles away from the destroyed town.

Later that night we received news that although the house is fine, there is no water, food, gas, electricity, or cell service besides in one spot at the top of the bridge that leads out of town. Although my family was safe, a new danger was presented to them.

Pictures surfacing show that everything that I know of Port Saint Joe is gone. There is no more gas station. The grocery story, six blocks away from the marina, is flooded and has boats in the parking lot. The restaurant my cousin works at is gone. Houses are covered with fallen trees, some even crushed by boats. Roads are gone and people are trapped. The city that is so loved by so many is left with nothing to do but wait.

My cousin managed to leave the town and is now staying with my family until further notice. Upon arrival, she looked anxious, weak, and exhausted. She told us of people who had to swim out of their flooded houses, the sixty plus animals staying in two small rooms at the animal shelter with only one person to work, and the two other families staying in their small three bedroom house because theirs were destroyed.

Living in Arkansas, I have seen destruction on the news and on social media but it wasn’t till Hurricane Michael that I realized how devastating Mother Nature can be. However, with the hurricane, the destruction became personal and I am left waiting just as those who managed to evacuate in time are.

 

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Hurricane of emotions