Thursday marks one year since Hurricane Michael landfall

Local News

FILE- In this Oct. 11, 2018 file photo, rescue personnel perform a search in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Fla. A year after Hurricane Michael, Bay County, Florida, is still in crisis. Thousands are homeless, medical care and housing are at a premium, and domestic violence is increasing. Michael was among the strongest hurricanes ever to make landfall in the United States. This summer, county officials unveiled a blueprint to rebuild. Among their ideas: Use shipping containers and 3-D technology to build new houses and offer signing bonuses to lure new doctors. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (CNN) —Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael hitting the Florida panhandle. It was blamed for 16 deaths and $25 billion in damage.

Slow insurance payments and government red tape have made recovery efforts frustrating for some, but FEMA officials say they are on the ground now and don’t plan on leaving the area until the job is done. Right now, they have crisis counseling, disaster unemployment assistance and legal aid services set up.

“Those resources aren’t always initially, immediately available and so disaster case management will help individuals find those additional resources,” said Chris Smith — FEMA spokesperson.

While the process has been slow, some of the hardest hit cities say they are starting to turn the corner.

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