Hurricane Michael roared ashore on that dreadful Wednesday near the Florida Panhandle, one of the most intense hurricanes to ever hit the United States. With winds as high as 155 mph, the Category 4 storm, which some would argue was a 5; slammed coastal towns in the area, leveling buildings and structures, flooding streets and leaving a trail of destruction. One veteran storm chaser said that Panama City was so badly damaged it looked like it had been struck by a bomb.
The storm had moved toward Georgia and Alabama by the evening, the first Category 3 hurricane to hit Georgia since 1898. Though its strength had decreased, the risk of damage from high winds and heavy rains remained across wide swaths of the Southeast.
Before the sun went down and the skies turned midnight blue, those in the path of Hurricane Michael shared glimpses of what some say is the worst hurricane damage they’ve seen.
Here are 2 photos that capture the awe such a powerful storm brings.
Carol Ralph walks through downed trees blocking her heavily damaged neighborhood just after Hurricane Michael passed through in Panama City, Fla., Wednesday.
That’s where this story begins. Heather Botts a Marine Veteran and Owner of Frontline Cleaning Services , located in Ruskin, Fl took the lead as she did last year when Hurricane Irma left her scar all up and down Florida; and got together with Crystal Pepkowski , Heather Barr and Army Veteran Lauren Krontz to head up a Hurricane Michael Relief Drive.
Heather Botts began posting on her Social Media account that she was collecting basic survival needs supplies, with a detailed list and would be setting up drop off points in several area business and locations around town. That is when Crystal Pepkowski , Heather Barr and Lauren Krontz followed suit and as they say the rest is history.
These amazing woman inspired others to pitch in and do what they can and then it just snowballed into a lot of the Ruskin/Apollo Beach Community citizens an businesses reaching out to offer there help with donations.
These girls were working day and night running around town picking up all these donations as well as buying supplies from local retailers, with donations from several other community donors all while juggling there busy and daily lives of motherhood. They filled there cars making rounds around town day and night to fill there 2 car garage when it just started overflowing.
They knew they could not fit all in the little cargo trailer they had planned on using, so Heather Botts once again put a plea out on Social Media for help looking for a vehicle to pull the large load to the Panhandle, when another amazing community member in the Ruskin/Apollo Beach community stepped up an made a donation to rent them a UHaul Box Truck.
The Ruskin/Apollo Beach area is an amazing community, full of some of the most giving and amazing citizens. There is lots of fishing and outdoor activities right here on the banks of Tampa Bay. There are several Captians that Charter Fishing trips right here in the Ruskin/Apollo Beach area.
Heather and her husband Jamark a skilled Brazilian jiu jitsu Instructor are leading the convoy with friends Crystal Pepkowski and Lauren Krontz headed to the Panhandle to bring some much needed HOPE to those who need it the most with a goal in mind, they want to help the ones in the Rural Areas of Michael’s path in an attempt to bring much needed relief to those that are not close to Points Of Distribution(POD).
They are asking for help in finding these individuals that are totally cutoff from modern society and dont really have a way to get to a POD or no family or neighbors to help them. The un populated areas if you will.
If you are one of these individuals, or you know of someone who is, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below this article or join our Facebook Group and you can post there. Another option is to Like and Follow our Riders Of The Storm Recovery Resources Page and you can make a post their. Be safe out there Rider’s Of The Storm, HOPE is on the way!