Remembering Hurricane Michael
Mexico Beach, Florida Panhandle
Not every route is pretty. And some drives are astonishing for horrific and heartbreaking reasons. Such is the case with this video essay. Hurricanes and other natural disasters have become somewhat routine for many of us. Spring brings tornadoes, summer means wildfires and fall is hurricane time. Interest and compassion fade as one natural disaster blends into another. Of course, it’s a whole different story if your life was forever changed by a catastrophic event. On October 10, 2018 Mexico Beach took a direct hit from Hurricane Michael. At the time, about 1200 people lived in the beach town. It was the first Category 5 hurricane on record to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle, the first Category 5 to strike the U.S. since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and only the fourth known Category 5 in American history. Michael had maximum sustained winds of 160 mph, directly caused 16 deaths and did about $25 billion in damage. This Wide Open Ride was recorded on New Year’s Day 2019, almost three months after the direct hit. It will take years for Mexico Beach to recover and for those who survived Hurricane Michael, an event they will never forget.