One Year Later: The Trump Administration Failed Hurricane Michael Victims
October 10, 2019
One year after the devastating Hurricane Michael destroyed communities in Florida and Georgia, many are still struggling to recover, no thanks in part to the Trump administration playing political games for months with disaster relief aid:
A year after Hurricane Michael struck North Florida, thousands of Panhandle residents still live in tents, trailers and hotel rooms, homeowners continue to fight their insurance companies over repairs, and children attend school in portable classrooms, flinching every time it thunders.
Folks on Florida’s Forgotten Coast fear the media and the nation have moved on from Michael. Worse, they feel abandoned by a government they came to count on in times of need following a major natural disaster.
“We have to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps,” [Kristy] Terry said. “Local agencies are stepping in to fill the gaps. It’s disheartening to see government not helping like you expected.”
Not all the damage from the storm is gone. But, a year later, most of what remains is less visible. The financial toll, however, could linger for much longer.
Battered farmers are still waiting for long-promised federal disaster aid, four months after it was finally approved by Congress and then signed by President Trump. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, led by former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, now predicts it will begin distributing some of the funds by mid-month, after having to put new software in place and training staff on updated policies, a spokesperson said Wednesday.
“We are still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Michael,” said Gerald Long, the president of the Georgia Farm Bureau. It is still having a lot of effect on us mentally, financially trying to get over it and move forward,” he added later.”
Earlier this year, DNC Chair Tom Perez visited the Florida Panhandle and witnessed first hand the destruction the hurricane caused but also the failure in leadership that has left many in dire situations and with little hope.
“This shouldn’t be about Republicans and Democrats and Independents. This is about helping people, and they’re not getting the help they deserved here.”
“It’s time for this president to man up. It’s time for this governor to man up. It’s time for people in their leadership to get down here and stop doing rallies and start solving problems.”