PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Brittany Cole thought her Panama City home was safe from the wrath of Hurricane Michael. It wasn't. The house is still standing but significant water damage from a hole in the roof and broken windows left it uninhabitable.
"It's heartbreaking but also I try to see the good in all this. I try to see the time I get to spend with my family."
Cole's house was located 12 miles inland. It was not in the mandatory evacuation zone for Bay County. Six weeks after the storm made landfall her family does not know when or if they will be ever be able to live in the house again.
"The storm was huge and I don't think people fully understand how catastrophic it was."
Cole's story is one of many which she said has led to a housing shortage in Panama City.
"People need housing. That's the biggest thing. People cannot find affordable housing in this community. It was a struggle beforehand."
A tent city remained outside the Forest Park United Methodist Church. Some were contractors who arrived to find little to no available hotels. Others were residents made homeless by Michael and were waiting for FEMA housing to arrive. Trailers were seen leaving the staging ground in Marianna, Florida on Tuesday.
"We feel forgotten," said Cole.