Hurricane Michael made landfall on October 10th, 2018, not even six months ago at the time I am writing this post. With sustained winds of 155 mph, Michael was one of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the United States, and the strongest storm in recent Florida history. The hurricane made landfall near Mexico Beach on the Florida panhandle and devastated the entire region. As I drove through the area, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the wreckage I saw driving around New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. While there is a ton of work going on along the coast, and construction crews are keeping busy, it is still a tragic place to see with a long road ahead. The whole time I was in the area, I couldn’t help but think that since Hurricane Michael filtered out of our news feed, it also filtered out of our minds and hearts. I hear politicians every day from both parties talking about their very different “America first” policies, but both seem to be talking about hypothetical Americans in hypothetical situations. Yet out in the Florida panhandle are real Americans with real problems, and nobody seems very concerned about them or their very real struggle to reclaim their lives and rebuild their homes and businesses. This region has been referred to as The Forgotten Coast, but probably rarely has that nickname had more meaning than it does right now. Here are some photos from my visit to The Forgotten Coast, mostly taken around Port St. Joe just southeast of Mexico Beach. Always remember that tragedies may only last a few days in our news feed, but they last considerably longer for those affected.
To offer some relief to those who lost everything in Hurricane Michael, consider a small donation to All Hands and Hearts. You can find their website HERE.