City, county hold Hurricane Michael listening session

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By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 8, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – One month post-Hurricane Michael, the City of Tallahassee and Leon County held a listening session to gain feedback on response and recovery efforts.

The room at Trinity United Methodist Church was packed Thursday evening with representatives from local agencies and city and county staff. However, only two members of the public spoke.

One man expressed his frustration over the time it took for his landline to be restored. Plus, a woman thanked the local governments for their work.

"Tallahassee has been a refuge for my mother, for me, my brother. And so many other people,” said Melody Johnson Koonce.

Johnson Koonce used to live in Tallahassee but currently lives in Texas. She was visiting her mother in Bay County when Michael hit. The two were evacuated and have been living in Quincy since the storm, seeking support in Tallahassee.

"It has been great for people to be there supporting with toiletries, clothing, shoes, medication,” said Johnson Koonce.

She told local officials that county lines have not separated kindness.

"It's a beautiful thing,” she said.

"I think that as we have experiences, and deal with them and face them head on, we take from that learning experience and we put them into motion,” said City Manager Reese Goad.

Goad said the lack of participation indicates most people were satisfied with the response and recovery efforts made by the city and county.

"We had done this before, we had some expectations of how to address it. The community knew how to deal with it, and we saw the positive outcome of that,” he said.

Johnson Koonce said she was grateful for that preparedness.

"It's going to be a process. And as we continue to be patient and cooperative and collaborative, I think that is what's going to
make the difference so we will be over comers," she said.

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