Post Hurricane Michael report

Discussion in 'Preparedness' started by Usingmyrights, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    First I want to say that this is in no way trying to compare to those that live in the area. After seeing the damage, even after two weeks of clean up and hearing the stories I can say that there is some true hardships and loss in the area.

    As mentioned in another thread, I was sent to the panhandle area (Chattahoochee) to assist a facility there with post Hurricane Michael coverage. Some of the staff there were unheard from for almost a week as they were trapped in their homes with out power and communication. Some people suffered complete loss and others in the smaller, surrounding area are being told that it will probably be another 30-45 days before power is restored to them. The previously unoccupied building that we were being housed in was used as a shelter for a nursing home during the storm and unfortunately one of the patients didn't make the night. It then housed displaced employees and and the NG on the lower floor and people from responding facilities upstairs. The National Guard departed a few days before we arrived and the curfew was changed to 2300/1100. The power in town was 100% restored during our stay, but unfortunately 3 linemen were killed the day before when another linemen, who was high on meth, ran them over.

    Out drive up was uneventful. We started seeing a larger increase in destruction as we approached Tallahassee, with trees down along the interstate, some clear just enough to get out of the main travel lanes. There was also caravans of the National Guard, electric companies and first responders returning home. We made a quick stop in Tallahassee and while the damage was far less, it was obviously there.
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    The approach to the facility showed an increase in damage. It was hard to get photos while driving, but I was able to get some. Trees were mostly cleared just enough to not block the road.
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    Even though power was restored, there is still months of grid work to do to clean up downed lines, poles and transformers.
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    This guy had a bit of humor with his skeleton out by the road.
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    The staging area for the National Guard and a location where the residents went to get relief supplies. Mostly cleaned up and packed away now.
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    The electric companies were still very much a presence in the area.
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    Unfortunately, my other photos from all of the linemen won't download.

    Continued...
     
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  2. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    Driving through town showed quite a bit of damage. I really wish I had the chance to actually stop for photos or go back down some of the streets during the day for pictures. One neighborhood that i went through at night literally had trees and debris stacked up 8' high along the whole street with areas cut out for people's driveways. It was like driving through a canyon. Lots of blue tarps covering roofs, metal roofs rooted back like a can of sardines. Sections of woods that looked like Paul Bunyan had been through.
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    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
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  3. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    I'm still having lots of issues downloading photos, so I'll wrap this up.
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    The Red Cross is still there for support.
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    Overall it was a good experience moat people with a few exceptions were positive about the whole thing. The ones that weren't seemed like they were the ones to be negative all of the time anyway. I can say that some of the backwoods small town mentality is still present in some. There was however community meals and live music over the weekend to help boost moral for those suffering. It was definitely hard on my body and I'm still recovering (about 15 hours of sleep from Thurs - Monday. Being on the CST/EST timeline and having my phone bounce back and forth didn't help, not to mention the food), but I'm thankful that it was a short term issue for me and honestly would have stayed longer. For those here on the forum that's suffering from the hurricane, I hope this didn't cause any I'll feelings. This is just a snippet of my experiences and what I witnessed. For those that don't live in the area, realize that the destruction goes far beyond the fancy beach side towns and well into small town America. The recovery is going to take months, if not years. Hopefully this will be the last bad storm for while. It also goes to show the need to always be ready. What was supposed to make landfall as a tropical storm hit as what was basically a Cat 5 storm. As mentioned earlier, some people were trapped almost a week so a 72hr kit would be lacking. In the end, those effected will pull through this, but still need lots of help and prayers. Thanks for reading.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  4. blind & lost

    blind & lost Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    @Usingmyrights, I assume you were at Florida State Hospital? I was in Homestead and Florida City, a week after Andrew with a state crew. I remember for about a week after I left, I felt guilty having a nice hot meal, and a cold drink. It was quite surprising after watching the devastation from Michael, some of those feelings briefly returned 25+ years later. Thanks for helping others out where you did.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
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  5. Usingmyrights

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    You would be correct sir. The funny part is, everyone talked about how much trouble they had getting into either if the forensic units. I got into each, no problem. I just wish I could share stuff from there. My institution confirmed yesterday that they are sending up a 3rd group next week, but it's going to be a much smaller group and probably mostly counselor's and medical staff and not many officers. I guess I'll find out today or tomorrow if I'm going. Other than places that got severely damaged, most seem to be returning to normal as much as possible. Athe one point we went to the next town over for a hot meal. Unfortunately, racism is still prevalent in some places and we ended up leaving. On a side note, that place is in fact haunted. I've never been one to believe in ghost and didn't see one while I was there, but the amount of things that was seen and heard leaves little doubt that something is going on.
     
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  6. blind & lost

    blind & lost Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I'm not surprised at the haunted feeling. I remember some of the really old large 2-3 storied brick buildings looking like something you see in the movies. Glad things are improving there, stay safe when you're working at either location.
     
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  7. Usingmyrights

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    Well, the place dates back to the early/mid 1800s. With all of things that the faculty has been, as well as what's happened there, if there was a reason for unrest, that place definitely has it. I may be going back next week, just gotta talk to the home front.
     
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