We have another perspective of that devastation happening in the Florida Panhandle as a result of Hurricane Michael.
News 3 has a crew in Florida helping our sister station WMMB cover the disaster and get important information out.
Executive Producer Enocha Edenfield is among that crew. She joined us live over the phone on Coastal Sunrise on Monday morning. We asked how everything was coming along.
“It is a little overwhelming,” she says.
Panama City is Enocha’s hometown and she says she is overwhelmed by what she has seen so far.
“The pictures and the video that you are seeing … do not do it justice. As bad as it looks, it looks so much worse in person. The Panama City beach is relatively OK. The damage out there if minimal. But in Panama City, on the other side of the bridge–and I am not exaggerating when I say–it looks like a war zone.
Our sister station WMMB doesn’t have a studio and they are broadcasting from the parking lot.
“And our sister station in Tampa, WFLA, has been helping out a lot. They have been doing most of the coverage, if not all of it. The station here has been able to broadcast twice a day–usually about 3-5 p.m. central time from the station parking lot with a couple of cameras and a trailer.”
We asked Enocha if she has been able to see any silver linings among the devastation.
“There is so much good. I took pictures of a man named Kyle Dalton and he is a constable in Victoria, Texas and originally from my hometown. As soon as they heard about the storm, they loaded up their truck and drove here and set up downtown with some grills. And people who are also dealing with hurricane damage brought their grills and did cooking nonstop. If anyone had any sort of frozen goods they were worried about going bad, they brought it down and started cooking. Restaurants brought in food to cooked and were passing it out to anybody who needed it. They served 2,000 people the first day and 5,000 people the second day.”
Other good news? “One thing the GM for WMBB asked is that we dispel the rumors about looting. He spoke with his son who is a Panama City police officer. His son says that looting is minimal and contained to small areas. There was a fight over ice at a grocery store in Lynn Haven, but it was quickly broken up. Other than that, the community is keeping an optimistic outlook and continuing to work together.”
How can you help?
Enocha says roads coming into the county are open, so if someone has a trailer and they want to take their own donations and bring them in, nobody is stopping them.
You can also send donations to the Red Cross and the United Way of the Coastal Empire is collecting donations to send to storm survivors.