By: WCTV Eyewitness News
April 10, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Wednesday marks the sixth-month anniversary of Hurricane Michael making landfall in the Florida Panhandle as a powerful Category 4 storm. Evidence of the storm's destruction remains apparent across South Georgia and North Florida, particularly in the devastated coastal community of Mexico Beach.
Michael's death toll continued to rise long after the storm passed through and currently stands at 49, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis shared a video on Twitter along with the message, "Six months after Hurricane Michael devastated Northwest Florida, communities and residents are still on the long road to recovery. We’re in it for the long haul. We will rebuild, we will recover, and most importantly, we will remember the resilient people of Northwest Florida."
Meanwhile in Georgia, FEMA reports $12.3 million in individual assistance dollars approved across 20 counties under the disaster declaration.
Wednesday, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis released the latest insurance numbers from the storm in the state, as follows:
Total Estimated Insured Losses:
Number of Claims:
Number of Claims Open:
Percent of Claims Closed:
CFO Patronis said, “Panama City is my hometown, and it breaks my heart to know any family is still suffering. My message is simple: Any insurance company who has yet to fulfill their promise to customers must do so immediately; contractors can no longer drag their feet on repairs; and attorneys can’t prey on vulnerable families. We are less than two months away from the 2019 hurricane season and it’s unacceptable that this community is still struggling to get back to normal. Together, we must work to rebuild better and stronger than before.”
The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1.