I’m not in Kansas anymore. Actually, I’m in #Wewahitchka, Florida, wending my way back to Panama City, Florida, after, truly, one of the most epic days of my life, into the apocalypse of Hurricane Michael on the #FloridaPanhandle! #ABKGPS
We’re in Wewahhitchka, Florida today installing disaster relief infrastructure for private companies and government agencies. The area has been devastated by Hurricane Michael, with a nighttime curfew in place and limited power. Attaining local labor is very hard so we have brought in more of our experienced staff to supplement normal crews. Our hearts go out to those effected, thanks everyone for their support in helping bring a sense of normalcy back to this community. #hurricanemichael2018#wewahitchka#disasterrelief#qualityeventflooring#supatrac#tentflooring
Today Leah and I drove through the towns north of the coast to get to Port St. Joe to help a friend who lost most of her beach house, and drop off supplies to those in need. While heading back to SRB north on Hwy 71 in Wewahitchka, we came upon a particularly hard hit piece of land. They are ALL devastated, but this big acreage was virtually destroyed. But there, hanging near what used to be the property’s front gate, I saw this tapestry. Out of respect for the owners I won’t post photos of their entire farm, but I’m gonna say, I think they have a DAMN good attitude. Sometimes the resilience of people still surprises me. 🇺🇸
It's hard to believe but we've moved into the second week since hurricane Michael hit north Florida and South Georgia, and it seems like the bad news just keeps rolling in. But good things are happening too! Thousands of workers are here from all around the country and even Canada removing trees and reconnecting power lines. Restaurants are delivering thousands of meals every day. Shelters are popping up everywhere. People are gathering supplies and finding ways to get them to those who need them. Lots of y'all are asking me how you can help. Honestly, the needs are so immediate and urgent that things are happening before I have a chance to relay them to you. So my best suggestion right now would be to organize something in your own communities if you can and find someone who can deliver things to a location where they can be distributed. Folks are still in desperate need of non perishable food and water, tarps, first aid and personal hygiene supplies, diapers and baby food, pet foods, paper towels and cleaning supplies, batteries and lanterns. There are also many organizations and GoFundMe sites being set up all around the country - so please help in any way you are moved to do so! North Florida and South Georgia will site appreciate the love! #floridalife#floridastrong#hurricanemichael#panamacity#mexicobeach#stgeorge#portstjoe#bristol#wewahitchka#marianna#callaway#lynnhaven#chatahoochee#torreya#quincy#stvincent#lanark#eastpoint#apalachicola#whigham
6 941:23 AM Oct 19, 2018
It started with a conversation and ended with a executed plan. Police escort, Three counties, four full box trucks, and a forklift. Nothing feels better than getting together with friends to help your neighbors in need. Many thanks to Jim Dowling for that forklift plan!! #blountstown#portstjoe#wewahitchka#hurricanemichael
0 798:46 PM Oct 18, 2018
Wewahitchka or Wewa, as it is called by the locals, is known for being the home of Tupelo Honey, harvested by bees along the banks of the Apalachicola River. And my hometown. Wewa is about twenty-two miles from Mexico Beach and was hit tremendously hard by Hurricane Michael. Please know that many rural inland small towns are left torn apart by this storm - not just those on the coast. There are hard working people that unfortunately will not be able to work for some time, as their lives and community need to rebuild over the next long months and even years. In an effort to give these victims some help they greatly need @brewfivepoints is donating a dollar for every Tupelo Honey Latte we serve through November. For more info on Wewa and the organizations we are donating to please stop by the shop and ask your barista. #hurricanemichael#edibleneflorida#voidlive#brewfivepoints#yelpjax#wewa#wewahitchka#gulfcountystrong#panhandlestrong#tupelohoney#gulfcoast
I never thought my life here in this quiet little town would come to this... in the aftermath of the storm of the century, waiting in line for food and water from the @salvationarmyus. Thank you so much to everyone who is volunteering and donating and making this possible. Our community may be unimaginably damaged, but as a whole we are strong. #gulfcounty#wewahitchka#gulfcoaststrong#hurricanemichael
3 126:11 PM Oct 16, 2018
If you know me, you know I live in my feels lol Felt two feelings sooo deeply this weekend, though.
PRIDE. Out to everyone, now. In four years I’ve gone from despising myself to learning to accept myself. Now I’m PROUD of myself. It’s low-key obnoxious how happy I am these days lol
But the HEARTBREAK, man. Damn. My home in Atlanta was bathed in sunshine. My family’s hometown of Wewahitchka—my roots—remains haunted by Hurricane Michael. Permanently scarred. The whole town has proven impressively strong. Beautifully courageous. But they will be weeks (!) without power. The whole town is in the dark, with unrelenting heat setting in each day. Weeks without basic amenities. Many will be weeks without work. Fallen trees consume the landscape in every direction. Massive gashes in roofs and walls. Some buildings totaled.
Starting to figure out how I can help, now. The pride was a miracle that I had to make happen for myself. The heartbreak is something that will take a lot of time in need of a miracle far beyond what I can do. What a weird place my heart was in, this weekend, and still today.
6 2105:43 PM Oct 16, 2018
These are the last pictures we took 10-11-18 in between clearing Highway 71 to get to Mexico Beach with FDOT. You can see an ambulance that was last in line out of 20 going to the hospital they had zero contact from. Eventually we were leading them which you see in the rear view mirror. Bristol, Blountstown and Wewahitchka are in the photos. The GoPro captured a lot and that will be cut together and uploaded with the other HD footage. #hurricanemichael#mexicobeach#bristol#blountstown#wewahitchka#fdot
Everyone is alright. It’s going to be a long road to recovery. #wewahitchka
0 138:26 PM Oct 14, 2018
First day on the ground and we ran welfare checks and dropped supplies in Wewahitchka.
Heading to Marianna tomorrow with supplies and the Habitat for Humanity team to start fixing roofs and helping anyone we can.
The destruction is terrible but there is an overwhelming amount of support flowing in from all over the country to rescue, clean and rebuild.
We are at our greatest when we come together and put down our politics and egos.
We passed by this today. It’s about 25% of a twisted and shredded American flag that refused to be knocked down. It perfectly represents the American spirit during times like these.
“They are not handing out #bottledwaters. Told to drink tap water at their own risk,” Oneal said. “It’s crazy. It’s uncalled for.” •
This #FloridaPrison Took In Evacuated Inmates. Then It Took A Direct Hit From #HurricaneMichael. -- “I want to know where my son is and did he sleep on the floor,” one inmate’s mother told BuzzFeed News. •
Posted on October 12, 2018; via @buzzfeednews by Zahra Hirji, Talal Ansari; Reporting From #Wewahitchka, #Florida •
The roofs of at least two buildings were badly damaged and shingles were removed from many others. The correctional facility’s own signage, made of brick and concrete, was toppled over by the hurricane’s winds. Another structure, related to the prison but outside of its barbed wire fence, had completely collapsed and debris could be seen strewn around the exterior of the facility. What appeared to be an industrial generator was working outside the administrative building. And while there was no obvious signs of damage to the facilities’ exterior fence, law enforcement personnel, accompanied by their patrol cars, were stationed around the perimeter of the facility. •
• "These inmates were left scurrying in chaos because nobody had a plan. I want to know who failed these inmates,” said Aronson. “I want to know where my son is and did he sleep on the floor." •
• “Much like the rest of the #panhandle, our institutions did sustain damage due to the #Hurricane,” Florida prison officials wrote in a statement online #Friday. Aerial images of the #Floridacoast before and after the storm, released by the @NationalOceanicandAtmosphericAdministration, show the widespread damage, with entire #neighborhoods razed, trees toppled, and #boats dislodged. •
Officials, however, are not yet saying which facilities were damaged or what that damage looks like. And while they suggested some inmates will soon be moved, no details were provided. Based on Facebook chatter, and local reporting, it’s clear Gulf Correctional Institution isn’t the only one that’s been damaged and inmate conditions may not line up with official accounts. •
Jennifer Oneal’s Wednesday afternoon call with her bo
After almost 48 hours of silence, we finally got word that my parents and grandfather are okay and their house had minimal damage. They live in Wewahitchka (where I went to high school) about 20 minutes inland from Mexico Beach where Hurricane Michael made landfall and almost completely obliterated.
I’m super grateful for this grainy updated satellite image showing no visible damage especially knowing others weren’t so lucky. #hurricanemichael#wewahitchka#florida#gulfcounty#satelliteimage#grateful#mypast
I talked with my best friend while Hurricane Michael was slamming into them. I wanted to constantly know they were safe. I told her that if she needed anything I was here for them. Unfortunately, I am 5 hours south of them and I felt helpless. Yesterday she texted me and asked if her and her babies could come stay with us. Without hesitation, the answer was YES! As long as they need to stay, they are welcome in our home. She is our family, and we will do anything we can for them. .
Today I finish cleaning up the house and organizing to have 3 babies 3 and under in the house. I have friends bringing over baby toys, highchairs, baby supplies etc. I am so grateful for people in my community coming together to help us. I want this to feel as much like home to them as possible. .
During the hardest times, family sticks together no matter what. ❤️ #hurricanemichael#hurricane#florida#floridapanhandle#wewa#wewahitchka#family#prayforwewahitchka#prayforthepanhandle#prayformyfamily