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The original item was published from 12/18/2018 2:54:12 PM to 12/19/2018 4:01:28 PM.

News Flash

Recover Bay County

Posted on: October 18, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Hurricane Michael Oct. 18 update


 Essential Information

  • For up-to-date information, go to 
  • Effective immediately a curfew is in effect for Bay County from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. 
  • Alcohol sales are permitted during non-curfew hours.
  • Governor Rick Scott announced Oct. 17 that the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) is helping families displaced by Hurricane Michael find affordable rental housing through Socialserve. Florida residents displaced by Hurricane Michael can visit the affordable rental housing locator service,, to find available units in Florida.
  • For emergencies, please call 9-1-1. The 2-1-1 Citizen Information Line handled 1,384 calls on Wednesday,
        Oct. 17. 2-1-1 also received 2,200 texts and 320 live chats. 
  • Approximately 2,000 responders are in Bay County assisting in response and recovery efforts.
  • Weather for the next several days is expected to be sunny, with a high near 83 degrees.
  • The Bay County Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed 15 storm-related deaths. 
  • The preliminary damage assessment numbers as of Thursday, Oct. 18, which are nearly completed:    
    • 6,053 structures damaged
    • 1,078 structure failures
    • 1,935 structures destroyed

Mosquito Aerial Spraying Scheduled for October 20, 2018
Due to a surge in the mosquito population from flooding caused by Hurricane Michael, aerial spraying for mosquitoes in Bay County has been scheduled for the evening of Saturday, Oct. 20, weather permitting. Spraying is scheduled from dusk to dawn from approximately 8 p.m. through 5 a.m.

The overwhelming increase in the mosquito population prompted the aerial spraying, under the advice of county health officials and in direct response to citizens’ recent requests. 

To protect yourself from mosquitoes, follow the five D’s of mosquito control:

  • After a storm, standing water can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Remember to dump out any standing water that you can. Make sure you use an EPA approved bug repellent and follow the directions on the label. 
  • Dusk to Dawn: Mosquitoes prefer shady, humid areas where there is little wind. These are the times mosquitoes are most active. They and avoid being outdoors during these times
  • Dress: Dress in light clothing long sleeves and pants when you are outside.
  • Deet: If you are going to be outside when mosquitoes are most active, make sure you apply insect repellent.

Operation Blue Roof
Operation Blue Roof, which temporarily repairs roofs at no cost to families, offers temporary covering of blue plastic sheeting helps reduce further damage to property until permanent repairs can be made.

Primary residences that have standard shingled roofs are eligible to receive a temporary blue roof. Metal roofs and mobile homes will be considered for the program, as practical on a case-by-case basis. Roofs with greater than 50- percent structural damage are not eligible for this program. Renters must obtain legal permission from the homeowner to continue occupying the residence until more permanent repairs are made.

Homeowners must sign a Right of Entry, or ROE, form to allow government employees and contractors onto their property to assess damage and install the temporary covering.

Right of Entry collection centers are located at:

  • Panama City Square - 525 W 23rd Street, Panama City
  • Walmart - 15495 Panama City Beach Parkway, Panama City Beach
  • Walmart - 2101 S. Hwy. 77, Lynn Haven

Centers are open from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily. Additional locations may be added as necessary.

For the most current information, please visit the Jacksonville District website at or call 1-888-ROOF-BLU (888-766-3258). Information is provided in both English and Spanish through this single number.


Emergency Insurance Village
Following Hurricane Michael’s devastation to the Florida panhandle, Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis will deploy an emergency insurance village in Panama City to assist residents with the insurance claims process. 

What:              Hurricane Michael Insurance Village
When:             Wednesday, Oct. 17 to Friday, Oct. 19 (WILL BE ADJUSTED AS NEEDED)          
                         8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where:            Sam’s Club Parking Lot, 1707 W 23rd St, Panama City

Residents should bring as much documentation as they can:  

-   A driver’s license or other form of identification. (Passport/State issued ID)
-   Insurance cards and insurance policy information/documentation
-   Pictures or documentation of the property being claimed as a loss resulting from Hurricane Michael.
-   Any additional insurance-related information that is readily accessible.

Emergency Operations Center Current Focus

  • All major roadways are clear at this time. Public Works traffic operations are working cut and toss operations to clear other roadways around the county and an inventory of needed traffic signal and sign repairs. 
  • Continued search and rescue. 
  • Delivery of mass care services such as food, water, medical supplies and sanitation.
  • Special needs patients continue to be transferred out of the county. 
  • Responding to emergency services calls.
  • Damage assessments.
  • Volunteers registration and coordination through
  • Clearing of roadways and debris that is dangerous to citizens and first responders. 
  • Restoration of utilities. 
  • Coordination and tasking of the influx of resources from county, state and federal response agencies. 

Cleanup Assistance
If you need assistance cleaning up your home, volunteer help may be available. Survivors and volunteers are matched and vetted through Signup to be added to their waiting list at or call 1-800-451-1954 or 1-844-965-1386.

Burn Ban

  • Due to the high level of debris and favorable burning conditions, the Bay County Commission enacted a burn ban at the Tuesday, Oct. 16 commission meeting. The ban prohibits open burning, to include but not limited to campfires, wildfires, bonfires, trash burning and other similar forms of incineration.
  • State permitted burns, authorized fireworks displays and fireworks sales which are authorized by state law and outdoor cooking in barbecue grills, smokers, or other outdoor stoves located at private residences are exempt.
  • The ban will remain in effect until the fire-borne threat has ended.

Transitional Housing Assistance

  • FEMA is providing Transitional Sheltering Assistance for families in Bay County. TSA provides FEMA funded short-term lodging in hotels and motels for eligible disaster survivors who are unable to return home for an extended period due to disaster-related damages or inaccessibility of their communities. 
  • FEMA is currently notifying eligible families in Bay County who have already applied for assistance of their sheltering options under TSA. Families in Bay County looking to confirm their TSA eligibility should call
        1-800-621-FEMA or visit for more information on TSA and to find participating hotels and motels or to begin the assistance process.
  • Rental assistance from FEMA lasts for an initial period of 90 days.
  • FEMA does not use vouchers for hotels. All sheltering in hotel or motels approved by FEMA is paid directly to hotels. Survivors do not receive vouchers from FEMA.

Salvation Army Feeding Sites
Open for lunch 11-1 p.m. and dinner daily 5-6 p.m.

  • The Salvation Army - 1824 W. 15th St., Panama City
  • Cedar Grove Elementary School - 2825 15th St., Panama City
  • Winn Dixie Lynn Haven - 1812 Lynn Haven Pkwy Lynn Haven FL
  • Walmart Callaway - 725 N Tyndall Pkwy., Callaway
  • MLK Rec Center - 705 14th St., Panama City
  • Old Kmart Parking Lot - 7100 U.S. 98, Panama City
  • Jinks Middle School - 600 W 11th St., Panama City
  • Coram’s - Hwy 2301 & 231
  • Parker Fire Department - 4534 E Business 98
  • Callaway Elementary/High Praise Church - 7115 FL Hwy. 22, Panama City
  • Walmart Panama City - 513 W 23rd St., Panama City
  • Walmart Lynn Haven - 2101 S Hwy. 77, Lynn Haven
  • Walmart Panama City Beach - 10270 Front Beach Road
  • 201 Paradise Path Mexico Beach(lunch only at noon) - Next to Mexico Beach City Hall
  • Youngstown/Fountain - 12421 Hwy. 20, Fountain
  • Springfield Elementary - 520 School Ave., Panama City
  • Cove Shopping Center - 901 Cherry St., Panama City

FEMA Points of Distribution
Offers food and water while supplies last, items will be restocked continuously. OPEN 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

  • Bay County    
    • Bozeman Learning Ctr - 13410 Highway 77
  • Callaway    
    • First Pentecostal Church - 179 N. Tyndall Parkway
  • Lynn Haven    
    • Walmart - 2101 Highway 77
  • Panama City    
    • Lucille Moore Elementary School - 1900 Michigan Ave.
    • Rosenwald High School- 924 Bay Avenue
    • Cherry Street Elementary School - 1125 Cherry Street
    • Panama City Seventh-Day Adventist Church and School - 2700 Lisenby Ave.
  • Parker    
    • Parker Elementary School - 640 South Highway 22-A
  • Springfield    
    • Subway - 3604 15th Street (Hwy 98)
  • Youngstown    
    • Waller Elementary - 11332 C.R. 388
  • Mexico Beach    
    • 1011 CR 386

ASPCA is accepting stray animals and giving away pet supplies behind the Panama City Police Department located at 1209 E. 15th St. in Panama City.

FEMA Assistance
Although the federal government cannot make you whole, it may be able to help your recovery move forward by providing grants for basic repairs to make your home safe, accessible and secure. FEMA assistance also may provide temporary help with a place for you and your family to stay while you build your own recovery plan. To apply visit, or call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY).  You will need the following to apply for assistance:

  • Social Security Number;
  • Daytime telephone number;
  • Current mailing address and address and zip code of the damaged property; and
  • Insurance information, if available.

For more information about common questions and rumors, visit


  • Bozeman School – 198 general population
  • Breakfast Point Academy – 561 general population 
  • Surfside Middle School – 171 general population

Special Needs Shelters
The special needs shelter run by the Florida Department of Health in Bay County at Deane Bozeman School is now closed. Persons who qualify for the shelter will now being assessed, treated and transported to locations with additional resources as needed. DOH-Bay has served more than 100 clients in the Special Needs Shelter since our response to Hurricane Michael. Clients are now relocated as a proactive measure to ensure the safety of citizens with special needs that have been displaced from their homes by Hurricane Michael. The decision was made to move these vulnerable citizens to a safer location before any resources started to run low. Families can call 727-619-0182 for information about their loved ones.


  • The Supervisor of Elections Office opened today, Thursday, Oct 18.
  • No new mail-in ballots will be sent out.
  • If you already have a mail-in ballot do not put in the mail. Hand deliver to designated locations still to be determined at a later time.
  • Due to the storm, five mega voting sites will be set up instead on your assigned voting precinct, locations to be determined at a later time. 
  • Early voting begins Saturday, Oct. 27 for 12 hours each day through Election Day.

Court Services

  • Courts are closed at this time. First appearances are being conducted at the jail, as they are federally mandated.

Bay County’s water and wastewater treatment plant and infrastructure sustained substantial damage. Despite this, we have made significant progress toward repairs, thanks to the help from DEP and FlaWARN

  • Water is being restored to many of the county’s wholesale customers, including Panama City Beach, Panama City, the Airport and unincorporated Bay County. Intermittent loss will occur as crews find and repair leaks. Please be patient.
  • If you have any questions about when service will be restored to your city, please call the city’s utility department. 
  • Water has been restored to many unincorporated Bay County customers in Southport and northern Bay County.


  • All unincorporated Bay County wastewater treatment plants and lift stations are operational. 
  • All wastewater systems are still highly vulnerable. As water services are restored, it is extremely important to limit shower time and flushing.

Boil Water Notice

  • All of Bay County is under a mandatory boil water notice. 
  • If you have utility power or generator power, bring the water to a rolling boil for at least three minutes 
  • If you do not have power, use bottled water or eight drops of regular, unscented household bleach per gallon of water to prepare it for cooking use.
  • For drinking, cooking, washing wounds, and brushing teeth, use bottled water or boiled water. Water should be held to a rolling boil for one minute.

Public Schools

  • Damage assessment of the public school system buildings continues. Opening schools is a priority and will be done as soon as it is safe. 

County Offices

  • To all BOCC employees who have not reported to your supervisors, please do so as soon as possible in order to see if you are needed at work. You should contact your supervisor prior to Friday morning in case plans to report to work have changed.
  • Employees should expect to receive disaster work assignments based on needs and skills.
  • County office and library reopenings will be announced as they occur. 

City of Mexico Beach
Three checkpoints have been established in Mexico Beach, allowing access to residents only with proof of residency.

Daytime checkpoints from 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

  • West – U.S. 98 and western city limits
  • East – U.S.98 & State 386
  • North – State Road 386 one mile north of city limits

Evening checkpoints from 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

  • 15th Street & State 386
  • 1st Street & State 386
  • Azalea Drive & State 386

City of Lynn Haven

  • Official information site is
  • Parts of Lynn Haven are back on water. Boil Water messaging ongoing.
  • Household garbage pickup resumed on Tuesday, Oct.16.
  • #LynnHavenTogetherStrong
  • Critical needs include tarps and chainsaws.Donations can be dropped off at the Southerland Event Center, located at 1112 Ohio Ave.
  • Water, food and basic supplies are being distributed behind City Hall and donations can be dropped off
        there also.

City of Panama City

  • Residents should put their blue trash cans at the roadway.
  • Testing of the water and sewer systems is underway.Service will be restored for some residents today; however, the boil water notice remains in effect until further notice and residents are urged to limit their use of the sewer system.

City of Springfield

  • Testing of the water and sewer systems will begin in the next two to three days and results will determine next steps.
  • Residents are urged to turn off the breakers in their electrical panels until power is restored.When power is restored, gradually turn on the breakers to prevent surges.

City of Parker

  • As of Oct. 18, most master valves for the municipal water supply are open, with re-pressurization in progress. This is expected to take one to two days. While this is occurring, residents need to ensure their water mains are shut off to allow faster re-pressurization and to prevent flooding of compromised water pipes in structures.
  • A food/supply distribution point has been in place at Parker Elementary School, 640 S. Hwy. 22 A, Panama City. Ice, bottled water, meals ready-to-eat, cots, pillows, blankets and limited baby and hygiene items are available from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily. This is a drive-thru distribution point and the Florida National Guard will load the items into your car. 
  • Waste Management, Waste Pro, Mr. Trash and Nate’s Sanitation have resumed normal trash pickup. Bargain Sanitation and Coqui Disposal Services are still pending resumption of service. The remaining four trash haulers will follow with the resumption of pickup. 
  • The city is in the process of starting debris removal, possibly as early as Saturday. Residents can help expedite debris removal by separating debris at the curbside into four categories:    
    • Wood (trees, construction wood – plywood, timbers, etc.)
    • Non-wood construction debris – drywall, plumbing, wiring, etc.
    • Metal – flashing, tin, aluminum, etc.
    • Appliances

When placing debris curbside, do not place it over the water meter.

City of Callaway

  • City Hall is not open.Citizens can obtain information at the Fire Department (252 N. Star Avenue).
  • Water and sewer service are not yet available.
  • Residents are urged to turn off the breakers in their electrical panels until power is restored.When power is restored, gradually turn on the breakers to prevent surges.
  • Assume all downed power lines are “hot” and avoid coming into contact with them.

Long-term, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also may be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via the SBA’s secure website at or by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to

Business Recovery

Building Repairs/Permits/Hiring a Contractor

  • Residents living in the unincorporated areas, or outside city limits, with home or business damage may make temporary repairs to secure the structure. Permanent repairs are not permissible until the work can be properly permitted by the county. Bay County BOCC Builders Services has opened a temporary office located in between the Bay County Government Center located at 840 W. 11th Street, Panama City and the Bay County Public Library. This site will be used to issue permits, and in particular, electrical permits and will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week.
  • Please note that permits will be issued for unincorporated residents ONLY. If you live within city limits, you must go to your city builder services office. For more information, please call 850-716-6628 or 850-716-6619.
  • Florida law requires a contractor to be certified and/or licensed – not just a local business or occupational license – and have workers’ compensation insurance. The state sets specific rules and guidelines for professional licensing, standards that protect Floridians from personal harm or financial loss. Homeowners’ liability for injuries to uninsured contractors could be devastating.Door-to-door repair operators and out-of-state contractors may seem attractive because they usually do not have a long waiting list, but they are perpetrating a fraud.
  • If you had damage to your home from the storm, it’s important that the work is done properly and that the person you hire is properly licensed. Contractors can easily be checked out by visiting or 850-487-1395. 

Gasoline is available but can run out quickly at a station. Visit for the most current list of stations who are open with gas.

Available Medical Services
The Florida Department of Health in Bay County is now offering essential services. This includes; birth and death certificates, ADAP, Women Infants and Children, and immunizations. Immunizations services includes Hep A and Tetanus shots free of charge. Hep A is needed for persons who come in contact with flood waters. Tetanus vaccinations are needed for persons who were cut by debris after the storm. Our current hours of operation are Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. WIC benefits may have automatically uploaded to your account. Due to the emergency, they can be issued by phone. Call 850-252-9580 Monday through Friday from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Emergency Diabetes Supplies, including insulin, are available at 597 W 11th St. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please bring a box or prescription for your insulin if possible so we can provide the correct type and dose. You can call ahead to check on supplies at 850-252-9656. DOH-Bay also has plans to partner with Americares to provide primary care and pharmacy services at 597 W 11th ST, Panama City. Americares is a non-profit organization that provides health for persons affected by disasters. Details on dates and times will be provided soon. 

Our leadership met with the leadership of both hospitals Tuesday. Everyone is coming together to bring services back. Currently, Bay Medical Sacred Heart and Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center are offering emergency room services. These units also have Hep A and Tetanus immunizations available. Each hospital is working on plans to provide additional services in stages. DOH-Bay is working in coordination with the hospitals on their plans to return to normal operations. 

PanCare, the federally-qualified health care center, is open at their location at 2309 East 15th Street in Panama City for medical and dental. They are also offering mobile medical services at Walmart in Callaway located at 725 N Tyndall Parkway. Hours are 9 am – 4 pm. All services are free.  Their clinic in Youngstown will offer medical and dental services from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. through Friday.

Rainbow Pediatrics is now open on their beach location, 10800 Panama City Beach Parkway. They are seeing new and established patients on a walk-in basis from 9 am – 4 pm. Emerald Coast Pediatrics is seeing patients at their beach and town locations from 9 am – 3 pm. Bright Pediatrics is offering a free walk-in clinic on Saturday, Oct. 20 from noon to 4 p.m. Please bring prescription bottles for medication refills. Children up to 21 years old will be seen. Physicals and vaccines will not be provided.

DaVita and Fresenius are operating and servicing dialysis patients. Bay County Transportation is providing servicing for those patients to get to their medical care as normal..  

Medication Refills
Under the Emergency Order, persons can get a 30-day refill of prescriptions. There are many pharmacies that are currently open in Bay County. To find a pharmacy near you, got to Winn Dixie has two mobile pharmacy units set-up, one at Transmitter and Hwy 231 and one at their 23rd Street location. You may also qualify for the Emergency Prescription Assistance Program. This program opens at 5 p.m. Thursday. This is for persons who do not have health insurance. Call the EPAP Hotline at 1-855-793-7470 to find out if you are eligible.

Life Management Center
Life Management Center is currently providing limited services at our Bonifay office at 310 Byrd Ave. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday. For current clients in need of medication, they may visit our Bonifay office during those times or call us at 850-899-5998. When visiting our office for refills, please bring your bottle of medication with you so that we may get the information from it. We are working hard to provide services in our other service areas as soon as possible. For emergency services please call 911. You may also call 211 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 850-273-8255. All Bay and Gulf County staff who are available are asked to report to work on Monday, Oct. 22 at our main campus at 525 East 15th Street. Staff should meet at the Crisis Stabilization Unit (Building E) at 8 a.m. If not able to be at work on Monday, please contact your supervisor so that we know you are okay.


  • If you have a homeowner’s or flood insurance policy, file your insurance claim immediately before applying for disaster assistance. Get the process started quickly. The faster you file, the faster your recovery can begin.
  • The state of Florida’s toll-free Insurance Consumer Helpline (1-877-693-5236) can answer business and consumer-oriented insurance-related questions. CFO Patronis has launched a Hurricane Michael Insurance Resources webpage to provide comprehensive insurance information. Access the webpage at
  • Do you need to file an insurance complaint? You can contact a Division of Consumer Servicesspecialist directly by telephone on weekdays between the hours of 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the statewide, toll-free number 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236). If you are calling from out of state, please dial (850) 413-3089. You can also email or visit

Garbage Pickup
In the unincorporated areas of Bay County, please contact your residential garbage provider to learn if or when they can resume normal operations.

St. Andrews Community Medical Center is opened and seeing patients. Their address is 3101b W Hwy 98, Panama City, FL 32401. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Americares is partnering with them to provide this service.

All hospitals have been evacuated, but the following emergency departments are open:

  • Bay Medical Sacred Heart – 6151 N. Bonita Ave., Panama City
  • Bay Medical Beach Emergency Department – 11111 Panama City Beach Pkwy., Panama City
  • Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center – 449 W. 23rd St., Panama City

Gas Pipelines/Service
TECO crews are continuing to respond to the area and assess gas lines as well as respond to gas leaks. Customers whose natural gas service was impacted by the storm can reach the Peoples Gas Hurricane Hotline & their dedicated team of customer service professionals at 850-914-6130. 

Peoples Gas Team Members and Contractors are required to carry a company ID badge at all times. If residents and business owners have any questions or concerns about workers entering their property they should ask to see an ID badge.

As responders work to access damage, make repairs and restore service, Peoples Gas advises customers to have their natural gas service on. Customers should not attempt to turn gas off at their meters. For safety reasons, Peoples Gas or emergency personnel may need to turn off some customers’ service at the meter. If customers find their gas service has been shut off, they should call the Peoples Gas Hurricane Hotline at 850-914-6130. If any time residents smell a rotten egg, sulfur-like odor, see dirt blowing or water bubbling or hear a hissing or high-pitched whistling, there could be a natural gas leak. Residents should leave the premises immediately and then call the Peoples Gall 24-hour Emergency gas leak number at 1/877-832-6747. Say “emergency” or select option 1.

Customers and utility personnel in the Panhandle should remember to call 811 prior to restoration or repair work that requires digging. Calls to 811 from the area will be considered a priority. Marking underground utility lines is vitally important so that no additional damage occurs to these facilities as a result of restoration activities.

Power Outages

  • Bay County has approximately 50,000 customers without power or 48.6 percent. 
  • Please do not call 9-1-1 to report power outages. 

Food is safe in a full freezer for about 48 hours or 24 hours if it is half full. Refrigerated food is safe about four hours if it is unopened. After that time, perishable items such as meat, chicken, fish, cheese, milk, eggs, and leftovers should be thrown away. Take a picture for your insurance company before you dispose of items.

Tetanus Risks
No one should play in flood waters. The water can contain bacteria. If you have come in contact with flood waters, you should receive a Hep A vaccination. Again, these are available at DOH-Bay. Tetanus is a risk when you get a puncture wound or cut. If you receive a puncture wound and it becomes contaminated with sewage, dirt or flood water, thoroughly clean the wound and have a healthcare provider determine whether a tetanus shot or booster is necessary. If you feel you need a tetanus, please visit your closest emergency centers.

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