LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) - It's been less than four months since the most intense hurricane ever recorded hit Florida's Panhandle and Leon County is looking back at what they did right and wrong during the disaster.
The county's After-Action report says the damage caused by Hurricane Michael required the longest and most extensive use of the Leon County Emergency Operations Center ever.
They were operating for 194 hours straight, double the amount of time as Hurricanes Hermine or Irma.
The storm left five times the amount of tree debris as Irma and caused power outages for 95 percent of customers county wide.
That's why one area the county wants to improve is more special needs sheltering.
During Hurricane Michael, Leon County's special needs shelter was not filled to the 300 person capacity.
However, the report says adding another shelter would allow the county to accommodate people in our community as well as nearby areas that lack special needs options.
"There is full time nursing care at the facility, in addition to the equipment that people need for a special needs shelter," said Mathieu Cavell, Leon County Assistant Administrator. "However there are opportunities to explore additional spaces, to bring needs to the legislature, and to state and federal funding, to be able to get new generators for additional spaces."
County leaders also recommend improving communications with neighboring rural communities.
They want to ensure that other counties have the volunteers, donations and resources they need during recovery.
The report says Leon County was the most prepared it had ever been for Hurricane Michael. That's in no small part due to the lessons learned from Hermine and Irma.
For the 2018 season, the county had a new app to share information during the storm and a new debris contract that allowed for faster clean-up.