FLORIDA — Spectrum News will bring together lawmakers, emergency managers, and storm victims to reflect on Hurricane Michael's devastation in the Panhandle, examine what would happen here, and look ahead to recovery.
- Town hall will premiere at 7 p.m. Wednesday
- Spectrum News' Hurricane Michael coverage
- Get free tickets to the town hall here
- Donate to Recovery efforts for Panhandle cities:
The town hall will feature families impacted by the story as well as Spectrum News meteorologists who will sit on the panel.
Small Michael Victories
Many will focus on the small victories from Hurricane Michael. Families in the Panhandle are finally getting trees removed from their property, finally getting their mail, and finally getting back to work. Those small moral victories that are helping them get through this.
Sounds of work echo over a little league field in the Cove neighborhood of Panama City.
Leftover canned food, water, and supplies outside the dugout are the remains of a time when this spot three months ago truly stood as home base for so many who were impacted by Hurricane Michael.
Now three months later, the game plan has changed.
Progress continues, but now it is all about small victories. Like getting debris picked up.
"We are thrilled to have this picked up, because I am tired of driving out of my driveway every day and seeing just piles of debris. And most of this, not all of it, but a lot of it has been here ever since the storm," said Cove resident Sandra Taylor.
And while progress is slow, with construction vehicles outnumbering regular cars in Panama City, progress is happening.
Before and after photos of Mexico Beach. The devastation caused by Hurricane Michael is astonishing.
Panhandle Church Revisited
Spectrum News will revisit a church that was used as a shelter during Hurricane Michael that took a major hit. Parishioners who stayed inside returned on Wednesday night services to tell their emotional tale.
Late into the night, sounds of construction can still be heard across the Panhandle. Here in Callaway, it is no different.
Each puff of Carlos Mancia's nail gun means more progress is made. As he works, the church he took shelter in during the storm stands feet away holding evening service.
"We are getting through, we know it's going to be a long time," Mancia said.
His hands show the damage almost everyone still deals with daily.
Days after Hurricane Michael hit, those who sought shelter at the Lighthouse Baptist Church shared countless stories of survival and homes lost.
Just like his family.
"We thank God that we are alive, we thank God. We might have lost everything, but in Him, we have everything," said Julie Mancia who lost her home, but still has her husband and their young son.
Now three months later, mother and son still sit in the same pew, sending up the same prayers.
"Pray that we get our stuff for our house when we move in," she said. "And pray for my family."
Carlos Mancia will share more of his story during the town hall special on Wednesday at 7 p.m.