Malacandra.me

Trump neglect in Trump country

Trump neglect in Trump country

by digby

PANAMA CITY, Florida—Hurricane Michael’s sudden transformation into a storm that is unprecedented for the Florida Panhandle haunts everyone who lived through it. “It was raw power,” says Panama City resident Walter McAlster, “you felt you were in it, not outside and didn’t know if you would live through it. You knew that everything was going to change the landscape forever.”

And it did, in the span of three hours.

The destruction is everywhere, at every corner for as far as the eye can see. Mexico Beach, where the hurricane’s eyewall slammed into Florida with 140 mph winds, is flattened. Panama City, gem of the Emerald Coast, looks like a bomb had been dropped on it. Is now a desolate landscape of countless toppled power poles, transformers, electical lines, severed trees, and metal roofings, twisted and tangled into a sea of debris covering every road. Nearly all homes, businesses, stores, banks, schools are severely damaged or destroyed, skeletal remains with blown out windows or crushed facades. To residents, it is unrecognizable.

There is so much rubble that the official death toll of 14 is expected to rise as search-and-rescue teams inspect thousands of buildings, looking for the the missing. On Friday, a team from the Miami Fire Department found a body in a Mexico Beach home.
[...]
Since the storm, there’s been no electricity and no water in Panama City. Emergency disaster relief was yet to be seen in strength as of Saturday morning and residents are growing more frustrated and desperate by the day.

Chantell Goolspy sat in her car making phone calls to get help. Goolspy and many of her neighbors live in a public housing area in downtown Panama City that was badly devastated.

“We’re in need of food, water, anything, we’re not getting any help. The whole street needs help,” Goolspy told the Red Cross. “FEMA referred me to you. That person told me to call 211.”

Down the street, Barbara Sanders stood outside her daughter’s unit where she had come to stay during the hurricane.

“We’re not getting any help,” she said. “We need food. It’s just crazy.”

Sanders said not a single relief agency had come by to check on them. Only the police had come and it was to tell everyone to leave. “They told us there’s nothing they can do and it’s gonna take a long time to rebuild,” Sanders said.

Just then a pick-up truck arrived with water. It was the first help this neighborhood had received and it turned out to be two brothers, Chris and Brendon Hill, from Louisiana who had decided to come and help residents here.

In neighboring Panama City Beach, city manager Mario Gisbert wasn't going to wait for federal emergency assistance. Volunteers from Florida and other states, brought water, set up a food kitchen for police, and prepared 1,500 meals for locals. A local church is preparing to distribute meals at 15 stations in Panama City.

“The American people are helping us,” Gisbert said. “FEMA will eventually come into the game and get the accolades in six months.”

Federal, state, and local officials were hunkered down at the Emergency Operations Center set up at Gulf Coast State College in Lynne Haven, trying to get urgently needed food and water to residents. The EOC denied The Daily Beast’s request to speak with the EOC chief, Mark Bowen, and city officials. Spokesperson Catie Feenie said the focus was on “coordinating some patrols who are in life-saving mode” for the 60,000 residents that had not evacuated before the hurricane, like Goolspy and Sanders.


Trump's going to rallies and hanging with Kanye and truly does not seem to give a shit.

Mexico Beach and Panama City are in Bay county, which gave Trump 71% of the vote in 2016. Maybe if they didn't name their towns after shithole countries he might want to help. They should call them Trump Beach and Trump City and maybe he'll start to care.

But hey, I'm sure that he'll take time out of his busy rally and tweeting schedule to come down and hand out some paper towels. And all his superfans will show up, thrilled just to be in his presence. He'll say there's never been a relief effort as strong, nice and great and they'll all believe him.