Weathering The Storm As Michael Slams PanhandlePosted: Updated:
As Hurricane Michael made its way through the Florida panhandle, some north country natives living down South decided to stay and weather the storm.
Gary Van Brocklin of Alexandria Bay says he couldn't leave his Panama City beach home and that bridges to get out were closed.
Van Brocklin says luckily, his house withstood those gusts.
"I didn't count on the wind getting that high, but we got lucky," he said. "We're just thankful that we'd come through. There's still hurricane winds out there, but I think the worst of it has passed us."
Jane Gendron of the American Red Cross says her volunteers just returned back to the north country after helping with Hurricane Florence relief in the Carolinas.
Gendron says if needed again, those volunteers will be prepared to head back south.
"Once we get that damage assessment and we understand what the response need is, that's when we'll put the call out to say, 'we need shelter workers, we need mass feeding workers, we need health services,'" she said, "and then our volunteers who are trained in those areas will put their availability in to volunteer to go down there and work in those positions."
Another north country native, Dave Shambo of Watertown, is holding out in Destin, Florida.
Shambo says where he lives, winds were up to 60 miles per hour and his home lost power.
In the meantime, Shambo says he'll improvise.
"Kind of keeping an eye on the house," he said, "and then we're going to go to a friend's house who has a generator, probably tomorrow."
As Hurricane Michael moved out of the panhandle and into Georgia, the people we spoke with say they're relieved that the worst seems to be over.