PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WSAV) – It’s been one year since Hurricane Michael brought devastating category 5 winds to the Florida Panhandle.
The damage from the storm is still visible one year later, but the process of rebuilding is underway in many areas.
News 3 traveled to Panhandle shortly after the storm hit to assist our sister station, WMBB, with coverage. From debris-covered roads to roof torn buildings, we saw the impact firsthand.
But just a couple of weeks ago, we went back to the same areas to see the progress that’s been made.
The proof is in the pictures.
While the Panama City Center for the ARTS sustained some damage, it was able to reopen quickly and has been helping local artists left without galleries following the hurricane.
Debris scattered along Panama City’s Harrison Avenue and damage to the Bay County Historical Museum and downtown stores.
With the exception of some cinderblock buildings, not much was left of the Blountstown High School football stadium. The stands were crumbled, the lights were damaged beyond repair, and portions of the field were damaged by debris.
Now the stadium has reopened, and the Blountstown Tigers are currently undefeated this season.
While the exterior shots of the Calhoun Liberty Hospital look similar, much has changed on the inside.
The ER is once again operational and the landing lights for the emergency transport helipad have been repaired.
The Marina Civic Center sustained significant damage from the hurricane along with the Panama City Marina.
A year later, the entire area is fenced off.
La Royale Lounge in downtown Panama City was completely gutted by Hurricane Michael.
A year later, remodeling has started, but the Fiesta Room next door had to be torn down.
Linemen from across the US worked days on end to restore power to the Panhandle.
Along Highway 231, many of the poles were knocked over or snapped in half.
The historic theatre in downtown Panama City lost its roof during the storm. The façade has been largely restored but work continues on the inside.
Movies that would typically be shown there are now being screened across the street at the Panama City Center for the ARTS.
McKenzie Park in downtown Panama City saw damage to trees, the fountain, and other features. One year later, much of that has been repaired.
Scattered around Panama City are literal signs of progress and hope.
Historic St. Andrews in Panama City continues to recover. Many buildings are being remodeled.
Panama City’s The Place Downtown is back open after part of the roof collapsed during Hurricane Michael.