Hurricane Michael: One Year Later

As the first anniversary of Hurricane Michael making landfall approaches, you can find the stories of the communities still healing from the Category 5 storm here. (ZUMA Press)
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
October 8, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Thursday, October 10, 2019, marks the first anniversary of Hurricane Michael hitting the Big Bend and South Georgia.

Throughout the week leading up to that anniversary, WCTV is telling the stories of the communities still recovering and picking up the pieces Michael left behind.

If you missed any of our coverage, you can find the stories below:

  • Mexico Beach: One year after Hurricane Michael
  • Chattahoochee: One year after Hurricane Michael
  • Cotton farmers continue fighting one year after Hurricane Michael
  • Host of Bay County tent city fears shut down
  • Without a firehouse, Mossy Pond Volunteer Fire Department saving lives despite incredible odds
  • Local dance studio in desperate need of assistance year after Hurricane Michael
  • Quincy man with disability still struggling one year after Hurricane Michael
  • Recovery into revival: Bainbridge one year after Hurricane Michael
  • Mission 850 helps hurricane victim on Michael anniversary
  • St. Marks: One Year After Hurricane Michael
  • Chattahoochee couple year after Michael: 'We've lost hope'

    How you can help

    A year later, several local organizations are still working hard to help the Panhandle recover from the devastation left behind from Hurricane Michael.

    Follow the links below for ways to volunteer and donate for Michael relief:

  • One North Florida: One North Florida is a grassroots effort to celebrate the strength of the people who call North Florida home. The group's goal is to complete 365 hurricane recovery obs in the region and raise $365,000. Never Forgotten Coast, Mission 850 and the Community Foundation of North Florida are all involved in this initiative.
  • Rebuild 850: This group was launched on Novmeber 1, 2018, just three weeks after Hurricane Michael made landfall, to keep North Florida's recovery front and center and to marshal ongoing support. Rebuild 850 is co-chaired by former Florida House Speakers Allan Bense and Will Weatherford.
  • American Red Cross: The Red Cross is working alongside its disaster response partners to continue relief efforts and develop longer-term recovery plans. With its partners, the group has already served more than 2 million meals and provided more than 45,000 overnight stays in shelters for Michael victims.
  • Salvation Army: The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900, according to its website. The organization says it is committed to continuing to help impacted communities rebuild.
  • United Way: United Way launched the Hurricane Micahel Recovery Fund to provide relief to survivors and aid longer-term recovery assistance to help affected residents recover and rebuild from the Category 5 storm.

    Hurricane Michael by the numbers

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency sent numbers about the overall scope of federal relief aid, as well as a breakdown of those funds by county, allocated to the Big Bend and Georgia following Hurricane Michael.

    Florida statewide numbers

    According to the FEMA, nearly $1.9 billion in federal funds have been committed to response and recovery efforts since Michael made landfall in the Panhandle last year. Additionally, more than 32.9 million cubic yards of debris has been removed, according to county reports from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

    Here's a breakdown of where that money went:

  • $319.7 million approved in FEMA Individual Assistance for housing assistance and other disaster-related needs
  • $644.7 million in U.S. Small Business Association low-interest disaster loans approved for homeowners, renters and businesses
  • $224.1 million in claims paid to National Flood Insurance Program policyholders
  • $496.6 million in FEMA Public Assistance grants approved for disaster-related reimbursements to local, state and private nonprofits for debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent repair work.
  • $192.9 million paid by FEMA to other federal agencies for response and recovery mission support (i.e. clearing roads for first responders, emergency power, medical equipment, etc.)
  • $2.7 million in hazard mitigation grants

    FEMA says 21,218 homeowners and renters were approved for financial rental assistance following Hurricane Michael.

    Calhoun County numbers

    Calhoun County residents and local governments got about $36.7 million in federal funds. Nearly 2 million cubic yards of debris has been removed in Calhoun County.

  • $9.2 million in federal grants through FEMA's Individuals and Households Program went to 1,731 homeowner and renters
  • $34,000 has been paid in flood insurance claims
  • $24.6 million approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration approved in low-interest disaster loans for 538 homeowners and renters and 33 businesses
  • $2.9 million was about the amount Calhoun County governments received from FEMA for storm-related expenses

    FEMA says 1,068 homeowners have been approved for basic housing repairs. On the flip side, the agency says 782 survivors haven't provided the necessary information from their insurance settlements to complete their disaster assistance registration.

    More than 1,000 homeowners and renters were approved for rental assistance. Calhoun County was approved for FEMA Direct Temporary Housing Assistance. Thirty-seven households were licensed in to temporary housing units, and 10 households successfully moved on to permanent housing solutions.

    From October to November 2018, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers installed 481 blue roofs in the county for families to live in their homes while permanent repairs were underway.

    Gadsden County numbers

    Gadsden County residents and local governments got about $20.1 million in federal funds. Nearly 1.5 million cubic yards of debris has been removed in Gadsden County.

  • $3.9 million in federal grants from FEMA's Individuals and Households Program went to 1,369 homeowners and renters
  • $72,000 has been paid in flood insurance claims
  • $9.9 million approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration approved in low-interest disaster loans for 336 homeowners and renters and 26 businesses
  • $6.2 million was about the amount Gadsden County governments received from FEMA for storm-related expenses

    FEMA says 717 homeowners have been approved for basic housing repairs. The agency says 1,130 survivors haven't provided the necessary information from their insurance settlements to complete their disaster assistance registration.

    Around 634 homeowners and renters were approved for rental assistance. Gadsden County was approved for FEMA Direct Temporary Housing Assistance. Eight households were licensed in to temporary housing units, and four households successfully moved on to permanent housing solutions.

    From October to November 2018, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers installed 253 blue roofs in the county for families to live in their homes while permanent repairs were underway.

    Jackson County numbers

    Jackson County residents and local governments got about $94.9 million in federal funds. Nearly 7.5 million cubic yards of debris has been removed in Jackson County.

  • $14.7 million in federal grants from FEMA's Individuals and Households Program went to 3,928 homeowners and renters
  • $148,000 has been paid for 14 flood insurance claims filed in the county
  • $50.7 million approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration approved in low-interest disaster loans for 1,151 homeowners and renters and 74 businesses
  • $29.4 million was about the amount Jackson County governments received from FEMA for storm-related expenses

    FEMA says 2,042 homeowners have been approved for basic housing repairs. The agency says 2,430 survivors haven't provided the necessary information from their insurance settlements to complete their disaster assistance registration.

    Around 2,328 homeowners and renters were approved for rental assistance. Jackson County was approved for FEMA Direct Temporary Housing Assistance. Thirty-nine households were licensed in to temporary housing units, and 40 households successfully moved on to permanent housing solutions.

    From October to November 2018, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers installed 839 blue roofs in the county for families to live in their homes while permanent repairs were underway.

    Liberty County numbers

    Liberty County residents and local governments got about $6.7 million in federal funds. Nearly 456,000 cubic yards of debris has been removed in Liberty County.

  • $1.2 million in federal grants from FEMA's Individuals and Households Program went to 397 homeowners and renters
  • $5.2 million approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration approved in low-interest disaster loans for 157 homeowners and renters and nine businesses
  • $334,000 was about the amount Liberty County governments received from FEMA for storm-related expenses

    FEMA says 230 homeowners have been approved for basic housing repairs. The agency says 248 survivors haven't provided the necessary information from their insurance settlements to complete their disaster assistance registration.

    Around 169 homeowners and renters were approved for rental assistance.

    From October to November 2018, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers installed 56 blue roofs in the county for families to live in their homes while permanent repairs were underway.

    South Georgia numbers

    Georgia's Hurricane Michael recovery moved forward with more than $65.2 million from federal programs to help individuals and businesses. The state also got an additional $50 million to reimburse local governments for response actions such as debris removal and repairing or replacing critical infrastructure.

    Additionally, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said more than 4.2 million cubic yards of debris was removed from South Georgia communities.

    Here's a breakdown of where that money went:

  • $12.5 million approved through FEMA's Individuals and Households Program, providing rants to 5,000 survivors in Georgia for home repairs or replacing essential personal property
  • $50 million approved through FEMA's Public Assistance Program to reimburse local and state governments and certain private nonprofit organizations in Georgia
  • $52.7 million in low interest disaster loans approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration

    Congress passed a $19.1 billion disaster supplemental relief package for supplemental funding for Georgia's agriculture industry for Hurricane Michael losses.

    The bill provided:

  • $4.7 billion for the U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster-related activities, including $3 billion for crop, tree, bush, vine, and livestock losses from hurricanes, wildfires and other declared disasters that occurred in 2018 and 2019.
  • $2.4 billion for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development community development block grant programs.
  • $1.7 billion for the Department of Transportation programs and activities, including $1.6 billion for the cost of federal highway and bridge repairs.
  • $1.5 billion to the Department of Defense to repair military facilities damaged by hurricanes Florence and Michael
  • $3.3 billion to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for civil construction projects.

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