Montana native shares his story of Hurricane Michael

Montana native shares his story of Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael was the first category 4 storm on record to make landfall on the Florida panhandle. The last major hurricane to hit the panhandle was Category 3 Dennis in 2005.

Strengthened to a hurricane just two days ago, Michael made landfall Wednesday afternoon and ripped through Florida, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

Lance Musick is from Missoula but now lives in Niceville, Florida, about 60 miles from Panama City.

“The days leading up to it we were all watching the models and forecasts to see where it was going to land and making the necessary preparations,” said Musick.

He says Niceville didn’t get hit too bad -- a few trees knocked down and some heavy rain. But some of his family in other parts of Florida had to evacuate.

“We got very fortunate and very lucky ourselves, but there are some people in need down here,” said Musick. “I know my cousin, John, his house was within 5 miles of the eye of the storm, so he’s likely got some roof damage if not more serious damage.”

Montana’s American Red Cross sent around 20 staff members and volunteers to North Carolina and South Carolina after Hurricane Florence. Regional disaster officer Colleen Tone says many of them are just getting home to Montana. She and a crew of five are leaving for Florida Thursday.

“There are actually 5,000 people who sought shelter in 38 shelters. So that's as of this morning, but that's expected to grow exponentially once we know what the impacts are in Florida," said Tone.

Musick says there’s an irony that follows hurricanes in Florida.

“Other than the damage it leaves behind the weather does not linger. Really quickly it turns back into Florida weather with lots of sunshine,” said Musick.

For thousands of Floridians the storm has passed. Soon the Florida sunshine will return, but the cleanup has just begun.

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