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The original item was published from 12/17/2018 3:51:36 PM to 12/18/2018 3:32:17 PM.

News Flash

Recover Bay County

Posted on: November 13, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Hurricane Michael Nov. 13 update

Bay County Emergency Operations

Hurricane Michael Nov. 13 Update

ESF 14 – Public Information


  • The Bay County Medical Examiner is reporting 21 casualties in Bay County.
  • The 211 Citizen Hotline continues to receive non-emergency calls. Out-of-state callers, call 850-248-6099.
  • Visit for recovery information.
  • On Wednesday, Nov. 14, the National Weather Service calls for showers with a high near 62. North northeast wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible. Wednesday evening calls for showers, mainly before midnight. Low around 49. North northwest wind around 15 mph.

Recover Bay County – by the numbers

Feeding Assistance:

Salvation Army: 456,765 total meals to date

Red Cross Meals:  504,838 total meals to date

Total sheltered: 240

Debris Management: An estimated 1.43 million cubic yards of debris have been removed in the unincorporated areas of Bay County.  

SBA Disaster Loans approved in Bay County: $104,267,800


Northwest Regional Library System

The Bay County Public Library (898 W. 11th St., Panama City) reopens on Wednesday, Nov. 14. The temporary hours will be Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. There will be computer, printer, and regular borrowing services available. No internet or WiFi are available at this time. Library programming will begin at a later date. The Disaster Recovery Center is located in the library meeting room for those who need assistance with applying with FEMA and other disaster recovery programs. For more information, contact the library at 850-522-2100.

The Panama City Beach Public Library (12500 Hutchison Blvd., Panama City Beach) has resumed normal operating hours; Mon. – Wed., 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Thurs. – Fri., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sat., 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. There are internet, WiFi, computer, printing, fax, and regular borrowing services available. Sea Needles knitting group meets on Fridays at 10 a.m. English as a Second Language (ESL) classes will resume on Mon., Nov. 26 at 3 p.m. Book Babies meets on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. for babies up to three years of age and their caregivers. Sail into School will begin on Thurs., Nov. 15 at 9:30 a.m. for three to four-year-olds prepping for kindergarten and their caregivers. For more information, contact the library at 850-233-5055.

  • If you are a resident of Bay, Gulf, and Liberty County, you can get a library card for FREE. Bring proof of residency and a photo id, such as a driver’s license. 
  • All damaged book and late fees that were due to Hurricane Michael have been waived. Disregard overdue email notices. Visit the front desk to update your account. 
  • The Overdrive eBook and eAudiobook catalog is available. ( Download up to five titles at a time per device with only a library card number and four-digit pin 

For the most up-to-date library changes, follow the Bay County Public Library and Panama City Beach Public Library Facebook pages or call the library. 

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

The FEMA Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program is available to provide unemployment benefits and reemployment services to individuals who have become unemployed as a result of Hurricane Michael. DUA benefits are generally paid for up to 26 weeks beginning with the first week following the date the major disaster began. Individuals are required to substantiate employment or self-employment or to substantiate work was to begin on or after the date of the disaster through documentation. The deadline to apply is Wed., Nov. 14. Apply online through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity: If you need assistance with filing for DUA, call 800-385-3920.

Operation Blue Roof

At the request of the State of Florida and FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will continue to collect Right of Entry (ROE) forms for Operation Blue Roof through Fri., Nov. 16. ROEs submitted Nov. 16 or prior will be evaluated and Blue Roof installations will continue until complete.

USACE warns homeowners of fraudulent programs representing themselves as Operation Blue Roof.  “If anyone approaches you asking for money for a blue roof, that is not our program. Operation Blue Roof is free at no cost to homeowners,” said Lt. Col. Richard Gussenhoven, USACE Task Force Michael Commander.

Homeowners who may suspect they are being scammed should contact FEMA (866-720-5721, TTY 844-889-4357), the Corps (888-766-3258) or local law enforcement. Homeowners may also report fraud in person at any ROE collection center. Signs of fraud may include:

  • No USACE quality assurance assessment
  • No USACE contractor with valid work order
  • Asking for payment
  • Soliciting by paper applications

Eligibility requirements:

  • Only primary residences with standard shingled roofs.
  • Metal roofs and mobile homes may be repaired as practical on a case-by-case basis.
  • Roofs with greater than 50 percent structural damage are not eligible for this program.
  • Every owner or landlord that has a signed ROE form will be visited.
  • If a home is rented, the tenant must provide written permission from the owner prior to signing ROE.

ROE collections centers are open through Nov. 16:

  • Disaster Recovery Center, Bay County Public Library, 898 W. 11th St., Panama City
  • Walmart, 2101 S. Hwy. 77, Lynn Haven

Centers are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more information or to apply, visit or call 1-888-ROOF-BLU (888-766-3258).

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

The Bridge Loan Program supports businesses impacted by Hurricane Michael by providing short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced physical or economic damage during the storm. The program bridges the gap between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer-term recovery resources, such as payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance. Applications must be completed by Dec. 7, 2018. Apply online at For more information, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network at 866-737-7232 or email can also complete a damage assessment survey at and select 2018 Michael.

FEMA housing update

Bay County officials have been working in earnest with FEMA and the state for weeks to bring more permanent housing to the area in an effort to help displaced victims of Hurricane Matthew. On Monday, state and FEMA officials told Bay County that approximately 2,500 trailers are being staged at the airport in Marianna, and the first deliveries are to begin by Nov. 18 to approved sites.

According to FEMA, some 53,935 families in Bay County have registered with FEMA, and of those, 912 have indicated a need for FEMA housing support. Of those, 883 families are currently staying in Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA), some are at the Arnold High School shelter, and some are staying with family and friends.

FEMA continues to look for commercial park pads in Bay County that are willing to do business with the government and will lease their pads for manufactured housing placement. So far, a total of 22 pads on two commercial park locations have been identified. Contracts with these locations are being finalized now, FEMA officials say.

FEMA continues to conduct private home feasibility determinations prior to placement of manufactured housing. So far, 12 private home locations have been approved for placement of a manufactured home.

Anticipated first delivery of FEMA manufactured housing into Bay County is Nov. 18, subject to commercial park availability and private site feasibility. Debris on park properties and private sites continues to be a challenge. FEMA will bring in contractors to do debris removal; however, until then Bay County is working with FEMA to remove debris from these properties.

Once the parks have been cleared of debris and park owners have leased FEMA their pads, initial delivery of manufactured housing units will be up to 25 units per day with an expected increase of up to 50 units per day.

According to FEMA, the process for delivery is that, once sites are determined for feasibility, a work order is generated and provided to the haul and install contractor. They have a turnaround time of three days.

FEMA will not place trailers in locations they deem unsafe: Evacuation Zones A, High Velocity Wind Zones, or Flood Zones.

Families living in FEMA housing do not pay monthly rent; however, utility costs (water, power, sewer) may be borne by the renter, depending on the individual agreement. The housing program lasts up to 18 months, with monthly program certification.

Dec. 10 is the deadline for individuals and households to apply for disaster assistance. 
Survivors can apply online at, or by calling the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711 or VRS) or 800-462-7585 for TTY users.

Steel Field Landfill

Hurricane debris from a home can be dropped off at the Steel Field Landfill, 11411 Landfill Rd, Panama City Beach, at no charge. Bring proof of Bay County residency, such as a driver’s license or a bill. Open daily, 6 a.m.-5 p.m.

FEMA Assistance/Disaster Recovery Centers

FEMA is committed to ensuring that services and assistance are available for people with access and functional needs. FEMA offers many ways to help register by Dec. 10. Equipped with accessible ramps, parking and restrooms, Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) provide one-on-one consultation and resources such as captioned phones and iPads linked to video-remote sign language interpreters. The DRCs are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. If a disaster survivor cannot travel to the DRC, FEMA will arrange a home visit.

  • Bay County Public Library DRC, 898 W 11th Street, Panama City
  • John B. Gore Park DRC, 599 Beulah Ave., Callaway
  • Youngstown Fountain Recreation Park, 12421 E. Hwy. 20, Fountain

A DRC provides survivors information about FEMA programs and can help survivors apply for federal disaster assistance. Representatives from FEMA, U.S. Small Business Administration, volunteer groups and other agencies will be at the center to answer questions about disaster assistance and low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses. When registering, survivors should let FEMA staff know if they have an accommodation request.

Additional assistance is available below:

If you were affected by Hurricane Michael in Florida and need a sign language interpreter, foreign language translator, a Braille document or large-print or electronic file and it is not available on the FEMA website (Resources-people-disabilities-access-functional-needs), call 470-364-7252.

To register for assistance, go to, the FEMA app on phones/tablets, or call 800-621-3362, 800-462-7585 (TTY). Multilingual operators are available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Additional Florida resources for access needs include:

  • Florida Association of Centers for Independent Living: 850-575-6004 or toll-free 866-575-6004; email .            
  • Disability Resource Center: 850-769-6890; 866-954-5898 (TTY); email
  • Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: toll free 866-602-3275; 866-602-327 (TTY); email

SBA Mobile Business Recovery Centers

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the opening of a new Mobile Business Recovery Center (MBRC) in Lynn Haven to provide one–on-one assistance for businesses. The SBA offers low-interest, long-term disaster loans for physical damage and working capital. SBA representatives at the centers will provide information about disaster loans, answer questions and assist businesses with completing the SBA application. The Business Recovery Centers (located below) will operate until further notice.

Bay County City Job Center Parking Lot

625 Hwy 231, Panama City

Mon.- Sat., 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Lynn Haven City Hall Parking Lot

817 Ohio Ave, Lynn Haven

Mon.-Sat., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Closing: Sat., Nov. 17

Disaster survivors do not have to wait until their insurance claim is settled before applying for an SBA disaster loan because funds can be approved and disbursed while claims are pending. If survivors don’t know how much of their loss will be covered by insurance or other sources, SBA will consider making a loan for the total loss up to its loan limits, provided the borrower agrees to use insurance proceeds to reduce or repay their SBA loan. 

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.  Applicants may be eligible for a loan increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. This assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates are as low as 3.675 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations and two percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and based on each applicant’s financial condition.

SBA customer service representatives are also located at the Disaster Recovery Centers. If you cannot get to a center, disaster survivors may register for federal assistance online at and apply for SBA disaster loan assistance using the electronic loan application via the SBA’s website at If online or mobile access is unavailable, call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.

Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers, Business Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by e-mail to

The filing deadline to return SBA disaster loan applications for physical property damage is Dec. 10, 2018.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 11, 2019.

Mexico Beach Update

As of today, Nov. 12, the checkpoints at Mexico Beach are lifted.

Mexico Beach has requested additional law enforcement support from Bay County Sheriff’s Department for at least the next several weeks to assist Mexico Beach Police Department. The Division of Business and Professional Regulation is monitoring the city for unlicensed contractors.

Please limit travel to Mexico Beach as they continue the recovery process.

The Bay County Department of Health mobile medical unit in Mexico Beach is temporarily closed due to an issue with the unit. It may reopen on Wednesday, Nov. 14 after repairs have been made. 

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