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Looking back at preparations before and after Hurricane Michael

Looking back at preparations before and after Hurricane Michael
Looking back at preparations before and after Hurricane Michael
Posted at 11:20 AM, Oct 13, 2018
and last updated 2019-09-30 09:22:21-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - We took a look back at preparations before the storm and the moments after impact. 

Gassing up and getting out, a common theme among residents living in the Florida Panhandle ahead of Hurricane Michael. 

"There were so many people evacuating and our neighbors evacuated. So, we thought, well, peer pressure will drive us out," Mike and Jenny Johnson, who evacuated from Eastpoint. 

Monday, the storm, which quickly gained strength after forming off the Yucatán Peninsula, had it's eye set for somewhere between the Emerald and Forgotten Coasts.

By Tuesday, homeowners and business owners who planned to stay, stocked up on bottles of water, non-perishable food, and generators. 

Wednesday, Hurricane Michael slammed into Mexico Beach at 155 miles per hour, just shy of a Category 5 hurricane. 

As quickly as the storm came, it went, knocking out power to 90 percent of Leon County and more than 15,000 homes in Gadsden County. 

"I can't say we were actually ready for something like that, because no one can really be ready for something of that magnitude," said Sgt. Anglie Hightower with the Gadsden County Sheriffs Office. 

Thursday morning, Florida's Gulf Coast, Panhandle and Big Bend woke to find debris all over the place, trees down on homes and roads, and widespread damage. 

"I was in the kitchen and I was talking to my friend and the tree came toward me or my nose and was 2 feet away from my house it brushed my house," said Tallahassee resident, Flo Harmony. 

But others, not so lucky. A 70-foot tree crashed into one Tallahassee family's home. 

Some businesses, like Mad Anthony's in Panacea, 60 miles east of where the storm hit, were torn apart. 

"It's bad. The floors is up. They have no business here. Not until they redo it," said Wendy Sparks, employee at Mad Anthony's. 

Utility crews and law enforcement are now working around the clock to clear roads and restore power.  

Michael, now the 3rd largest storm to impact the United States in recorded history, left it's mark on Tallahassee.

It may be a while, but with neighbors helping neighbors, life will return to normal and we will see how we truly are "Florida Strong".