Yesterday we drove through the epicenter of hurricane Michael three months later. We left the quaint and bucolic village of Seaside with its perfect Trumanesk city center (actually the Truman Show with Jim Carey was filmed there). We hit a dividing line along the coast and entered the disaster zone. It started of slowly with damaged buildings, a few snapped trees, and eroded roadway and then we drove through Mexico Beach.
I had heard about the hurricane and like all hurricanes they tend to be bad. However to see the devastation that still existed three months later was sobering. It looked like a war zone. Collapsed buildings, piles of debris piled up along the roadway or strewn, unmoved around damaged buildings. Whole forests of trees were snapped like twigs, sheet metal was wrapped twisted and discarded. A steel sign post was bent like a it had been heated and bent with a blacksmith’s torch.
We saw houses with walls torn off and bedrooms open to the outdoors. A tall roof was ripped off the house and placed 25 feet away in front of another house. Boats were laying on land, whole houses were simply gone.
Its hard convey the level of devastation through the photos. Hurricane Michael had winds up to 155 miles per hour. it was the strongest storm on record in the Florida Panhandle, and was the fourth-strongest land falling hurricane in the contiguous United States, in terms of wind speed. All that information pales in comparison to driving through the aftermath and wondering…how bad can it get. Can the erratic weather we are seeing that is attributed to climate change get much worse. That is the questions I thought of as we passed through the eye of the storms aftermath.