Page 22

WE ARE #850STRONG Bay County, Florida is a beautiful place that we are lucky enough to call home. For the 180,000+ residents and millions of annual visitors, October 10, 2018 was a day that we will never forget. Unfortunately, it is also a day many outside of the Florida Panhandle have forgotten about too soon. I say this not to bring back terrifying memories but to serve as a reminder for those who have forgotten. A reminder that Bay County, Florida was hit by an unprecedented Category 5 Hurricane named Hurricane Michael, with maximum sustained wind speeds of over 160 MPH. It was the third strongest hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States. As of July 26, 2019, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulations reported that insured losses from Michael in Florida had reached $6.91 billion. It was truly heartbreaking to see so many of our families and friend’s homes and businesses completely destroyed or hardly standing. Huge, beautiful trees (some easily over 100 years old) snapped in half or uprooted. There is still a lot of rebuilding left. There are still a lot of people displaced. Sadly, some areas still look the exact same and it has been almost one year. But one thing is certain, this community, this County, all came together to help each other. We helped our neighbors, our family and friends, our employees, and even strangers. The impact of this storm has changed Bay County, Florida forever but we never gave up. In fact, I

22

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019

would say we are stronger now than before the storm. There are a lot of people out there that deserve recognition for making us #850Strong. The First Responders who rushed to help rescue people as soon as the storm passed. The linemen from Gulf Power worked 24/7 to restore power as quickly as possible. The Public Works Departments from each municipality and the County opened roads for travel, cleared debris, and returned water to our homes. The Police Officers and Sherriff Deputies, from all over the US, protected us when we needed it the most. Last but not least, our elected officials and EOC team took care of all of us in Bay County before they even helped at their own homes. Some of these jobs took days, weeks, and many months to complete. But do you know who also helped? You did. This special issue of The Circuit is dedicated to you— the men and women who came together to rebuild our community and pick us up when we were down. I thank you, all of you, for your help in this long journey. There is a lot of work left for us but look how far we have come. The Panama City Beach Chamber is proud to be part of Bay County and even more proud of everyone for making us #850Strong. Thank you again.

President/CEO, Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce

Profile for PCB Chamber of Commerce

The Circuit - The Fall Issue 2019  

The Fall Issue features a great featured about Unsung Heroes from Hurricane Michael and additional updates from Chamber members and local le...

The Circuit - The Fall Issue 2019  

The Fall Issue features a great featured about Unsung Heroes from Hurricane Michael and additional updates from Chamber members and local le...