- Hurricane Michael made landfall as a Category 5 at Mexico Beach at October 10, 2018.
- The Big Bend avoided a direct hit from the category 5 storm; its outer bands still did a lot of damage.
- Watch the video above to hear the experiences.
It's been five years since Hurricane Michael hit Florida's Panhandle.
While the Big Bend avoided a direct hit from the category 5 storm, its outer bands still did a lot of damage.
I'm Ashley Engle in Midway. I spoke with two men who were on duty during the storm and what they took what they both say from the life-changing storm.
"Its gave me an appreciation of where I grew up"
Josh Ray has lived in Gadsden County his whole life. He was a dispatcher when Hurricane Michael hit in 2018.
"We did not leave the communication center for 8 day… 8 days we were on lock down"
Hurricane Michael made landfall as a Category 5 at Mexico Beach at 12:30 in the afternoon October 10th.
"Disaster definitely brings people together."
Nathan Yarusso was named chief of Midway Fire Rescue 10 days before Hurricane Michael made landfall.
Though he had ties to Mexico Beach, Yarusso stayed in Midway to help the community prepare for the storm.
"I didn't have a chance to prepare my home, nothing, we weren't planning on having a direct hit."
Yarusso tells me that he would have been there riding out the storm if he wasn't called to serve.
He says he's grateful that he was able to help others but is never going to forget what he saw the storm did to his community.
"When you see the destruction, how it affected many peoples lives. People had to move from the area, jobs were gone, homes were gone. It gives you a little paranoia about the next storm to come."
Remembering loved ones and keeping the community together forever no matter the circumstances because…
"in just a matter of 4 five hours, your whole life can be turned upside down."
The small town of Mexico Beach is still recovering from the devastation. But as Capitol Reporter Forrest Saunders tells us the community plans to bounce back better than before.