ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – A year after Hurricane Michael, the Florida county hardest hit by the Category 5 storm is still in crisis.
Thousands in Bay County are homeless, medical care and housing are at a premium, and officials say domestic violence has been an issue.
Michael was among the strongest hurricanes ever to make landfall in the United States. It barreled onto the Florida Panhandle on Oct. 10, 2018, with 160 mph (257 kph) winds, ripping homes from their foundations and devastating Tyndall Air Force Base.
It left 22,000 of Bay County’s then-180,000 residents homeless and resulted in total insured losses of almost $7 billion.
This summer, county officials unveiled a nearly 300-page blueprint to rebuild. Among their ideas: Use shipping containers and 3-D technology to build new houses and offer signing bonuses to lure new doctors.