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IDALIA MEMORIES: Perry neighbors recount the days before, during, and after the historic storm

Posted at 5:29 PM, May 30, 2024
  • Neighbors in Perry are remembering the days before, during, and after Idalia.
  • As we approach this year's hurricane season, area leaders are encouraging the community to prepare now.
  • Watch the video to find out about lessons learned from the historic storm and ways to get ready for the 2024 season.


On the eve of hurricane season, neighbors in Perry are remembering the days before, during, and after Idalia.

Speaking with neighbors as they recount their Idalia memories and how that's helping them plan ahead for this season.

"It's always a nervous time of year," said Amy Cope, a Taylor County native. She owns a business in Perry and lives in the Keaton Beach area.

"It's been challenging at times, but overall I think we've done very well," said Cope.

She's talking about how the community handled Hurricane Idalia and its recovery.

"It's been amazing, I just have chill bumps talking about it, I get a little emotional," said Cope.

That's something John Louk, Director of Emergency Management with the Taylor County Sheriff's Office knows all about from leading the Idalia mission.

"Having your plan, and then trying to implement that plan," said Louk.

Louk said it was all about organization and planning.

"Having communication with people in those areas, to where we could be aware of is that resource still needed," said Louk.

Over at Doctor's Memorial Hospital, Sara Grambling and Lauren Faison-Clark explain a similar story of their Idalia experience - preparation was key.

"A lot of pre-planning, a lot of daily huddles here at the hospital to prepare our staff to get the hospital hardened and ready as much as we could," said Grambling.

This will be just as important this hurricane season.

"Keeping our patients aware of what's going on, our staff aware of what's happening, what could happen," said Grambling.

Although there is some nervousness around town.

"It can be a little intimidating knowing that what we went through, could actually happen again this year," said Grambling.

"It does make us a little anxious," said Cope.

Cope said the power and strength of this community reassures her every day.

"Neighbors helping neighbors, and just if you need help, I may not be able to do it, but I can make a phone call and get you some help," said Cope.

Hurricane season begins on June 1st. Neighbors are encouraged to prepare now. John tells me that involves ensuring you have a secondary mode of communication. Watch our Hurricane Special Friday at 7pm on ABC 27 to find out what you need to know for this season.