Folks in rural part of Panhandle ask: Where\'s the help?
After more than two weeks of Hurricane Michael\'s powerful eye wall passing through Bay County, Mark Ward wanted to know when electricity would work again. And the sewer. And the water.
\"We live on a cooler all the time.
We had a barbecue outside.
He pointed to a red cooler and two grill in front of his moving house.
He had to shout at the hum of the generator.
Despite the restoration of electricity, water and sewer services by Panama city residents on Wednesday, residents such as Ward, who lives in rural areas of Bay County, still lack basic services.
\"This is a struggle.
You get frustrated because our local governments seem to care more about tourism than the hard places.
\"You walked some dirt roads that were still not paved and the houses were crushed.
These people have no resources.
The county spokeswoman, Valerie Selle, said she understood why people in rural areas felt left behind.
\"When you live so far away from the city district, there is a feeling of isolation,\" she said . \".
\"There is no doubt that reaching out to these people is a challenge.
Under normal circumstances, it will take 45 minutes to an hour to reach some areas north of the county.
Bay County is famous for its sugarsand beaches.
Panama City Beach is relatively unaffected by the storm and is a holy spot for spring break every year.
Another charming community in the Gulf of Mexico-the Mexican beach is almost overwhelmed by the storm.
Stark, the amazing visuals of destruction
But rural residents in Bay County say they feel invisible.
According to the census, about 180,000 people live in poverty in the county.
\"Where is the help? \" Ward asked ? \".
He is one of the lucky ones near Bayou George.
He has insurance.
Most of his mobile homes survived.
He had a generator and he installed a hand pump for the well. His next-
The neighbors at the door were not happy either: Michael peeled their mobile house into a wooden skeleton.
They held on to the debris, but eventually, on the occasion of the storm, ran to Ward\'s house with a cat and her newborn kitten for safety.
\"There are seven people in my family now.
Three bedrooms, two bathrooms.
\"They have been with me since the storm.
\"In the first week, he drove through the state line into Alabama to refuel the generator.
Gas has become easier locally in recent days, he said, but the line is still long.
Because a person with him has diabetes, her insulin has to stay cold, which is why they need to run the generator.
Ward\'s property on the side of the road is a pile of oak trees, twisted metal and destroyed wires.
He did not flinch, walking up and down under the wire like a rope.
\"Here it is,\" he said . \" He hid under a thick wire.
County spokesman Sale said the Red Cross will have emergency vehicles moving, and a fire station near Bayu George is a distribution point where groups have been dropping household supplies, food and tarps.
Ward says the dependence between neighbors is growing.
He often checked in with a group of people in their twenties.
Men and women living in a mobile House on several acres across the street.
He asked them recently: \"your MRE is good . \".
\"If you want water, you know where my pump is.
There is also a Bath station there.
Bring a towel.
There\'s a soap.
\"Yes, I might use it, but my dad has a running Creek that he says we can use,\" said Ronald lauricera, who owns the property\'s mobile home.
Their yard was full of crushed limbs.
Garbage and two tents.
Two dogs and a kitten wander around here.
Laurie Chella lives in a tent and puts food in another tent.
Inside his mobile House was another outbreak of chaos.
The hurricane blew out the windows of the front door and bedroom.
The carpet and drywall were soaked in water.
\"There are bugs everywhere,\" he said . \"“It smells.
You can smell the mold growing.
The 19-year-old Laurie Chella has no property insurance.
He is at work, and if he can save enough money to cheer up, he hopes to attend an interview at the restaurant this week.
He thought it was his only hope of recovering from the storm.
\"No one is really helping us,\" said Laurie Chella . \".