PANAMA CITY, FL (WBRC) - Three months later and there’s still plenty of work be done in cleaning up after Hurricane Michael. The clean up has been slow and painful, but people are still trying to find normalcy amid a huge mess.
Hurricane Michael victims are still cleaning up debris and doing all they can to stay hopeful. Rebecca Mellerski has lived in Panama City for several years, and she says the last three months have been very sad.
“Crazy, it does not even feel like it’s been like three months, it still feels like October,” Mellerski explained. “It was hard to get into the spirit for the holidays and stuff."
When it comes to handling a disaster, it does not take long to get burnt out. She says although people are trying to stay positive, sometimes it is hard.
“But still it’s really sad. Everyone asks everyone around here, ‘how did you fare from the hurricane?’ and everyone tries to say like, ‘we’re here it’s fine,’ because the reality of it is no one faired fine from the hurricane, everyone had tons of damage,” Mellerski said.
With 90 percent of trees down in Panama City, it was easy to find firewood, but hard to find the way around.
“You feel silly because you’re driving in the neighborhood that you’ve lived in for 10 years, and you’re getting lost going to your own house because the oak tree that was always there to mark at your turn isn’t there anymore, so you just pass your street all the time,” continued Mellerski. She says just driving around can still be disorienting.
Mellerski doesn’t know when they can be back in their home, but hopes it will be soon. For some people in Panama City it could be over a year. “That’s what we figured out," she said.