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Mexico Beach

Hundreds gathered in Mexico Beach on Thursday to celebrate the community’s resiliency one year after Hurricane Michael decimated the small coastal town. 

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says hemp farming in the Panhandle could bring relief from the billion and a half dollar hit to the region’s timber industry. She joined WFSU’s special Perspectives program this week, broadcast from Mexico Beach, on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael that left millions of acres damaged.

Officials estimate there are still years of recovery left after Hurricane Michael slammed into the panhandle this time last year.  But for many who are living in tents or doubled up in homes still in disrepair, that’s too long, and insurance companies are bearing part of the blame for what some see as a slow recovery.

Many 'Still Hurting' Nearly 5 Months After Hurricane Michael

Mar 3, 2019
Governor's Press Office

Paulina "Bela" Sebastiao would give almost anything to be able to do a load of laundry without having to drive miles from her Mexico Beach home. Anthony Campbell would appreciate having a gas station closer than an hour away from his house in Parker. And Patrick Muth just hopes it doesn't rain when it's time to go to work: His "office" in Panama City consists of a desk surrounded by rubble under an open sky.

More than three months after Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle, communities now are struggling with the storm's financial aftermath. In Mexico Beach, where Michael's 155 mile-per-hour winds flattened more than three-quarters of the homes, just removing the debris threatens to bankrupt the city.

On Highway 98, the beach road, nearly every house on the ocean side is gone. Collapsed home sites and piles of debris wait to be bulldozed away.

Electric utility providers in the Florida Panhandle say they're hoping to have nearly all power restored to customers whose homes are equipped to receive it by early November. That's roughly a month after the area was hit by Hurricane Michael.

Healthy Kids Could Waive Premiums In Hard-hit Areas

Oct 18, 2018

The Florida Healthy Kids Corp. Board of Directors is expected Thursday to consider waiving children’s health-insurance premiums for three months in a dozen counties slammed last week by Hurricane Michael.

Updated at 8:23 p.m. ET

Florida residents still trying to piece together their lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael are missing one much needed tool: reliable cellphone service.

Amid reports of ongoing and widespread outages, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, is calling for an investigation of the problem. He is also calling for wireless carriers to waive October bills of Florida customers in areas hit by the hurricane.

In Florida, a grim task is unwinding slowly: Finding out how many people were killed in Hurricane Michael.