hurricane damage panama city

Residents Flock to Hurricane Damaged Motel

With no place to go, many Panama City residents who lost their homes have turned to the damaged American Quality Lodge just so they have a roof over their heads. Some have built makeshift tents in breezeways as a refuge from the daytime sun. Others say they’ve also been targeted by looters who descended on the motel and took money, food and even their clothes.

Leaving Mexico Beach for Good: Some homeowners along the coast said they’ll rebuild their lives, but not in Mexico Beach. “I couldn’t get nothing for this land now,” Joe Bush, who has lived in Mexico Beach for 19 years, told “People gonna be scared to death to come down here to buy and invest money. So we’re just going to leave it.”

Looters arrested in Bay County: Officials told the News Herald that armed looters are targeting homes and businessesdamaged by the storm, and police are making about 10 arrests every night. “I must’ve been so exhausted from everything in the past days I didn’t hear them come in,” Victoria Smith, who was targeted in her home, told the News Herald. “They just snatched my purse out of my hands and ran. … It was all we had.”

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