Update: Fundraising for FL hurricane victims falls short
By The Associated Press03/02/19, 18:41
The Latest on the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, which devastated the Florida Panhandle in October (all times local):
Residents of a Florida Panhandle county devastated by a monster storm are feeling forgotten.
Private fundraising on behalf of Hurricane Michael survivors is well short of fundraising for victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Florence.
Bay County, Florida, officials say they are thankful for the help they’ve already received, but they need more.
The global attention the Category 4 storm first received quickly faded as national and international news media moved on to cover the midterm election and disastrous fires in California.
There were no celebrity-studded telethons for Hurricane Michael victims as there were for victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, or more than a dozen years ago for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Life is still a struggle in the Florida Panhandle county hardest hit by Hurricane Michael.
Everyday tasks that residents of Bay County used to take for granted now require a combination of planning, patience and luck. The Category 4 storm cut a wide swath of devastation through the area in October.
Drivers who have lived in the county for years second-guess themselves about whether they’re going the right way since street signs, trees or houses that served as points of reference have disappeared.
One of the county’s two hospitals was closed, even though Bay County residents are experiencing hurricane-related health problems such as respiratory illness.
Students in schools damaged by the storm have moved into other facilities.
And many doctors’ offices and retailers haven’t reopened yet.