Two weeks ago, Florida State University student Molly King never anticipation she’d be 23 years old and homeless.
But that was afore King and the blow of the Florida Panhandle met the Category 4-force apprehension of Hurricane Michael.
Now, the senior majoring in able communications is aggravating to deliver annihilation she can from her rental home in Callaway, Florida, a baby suburb of Panama City.
King, like best bodies in the area, is now adjusting to a new way of life. She’s absent her job at a childcare centermost because the architecture is too damaged to reopen. Her days now consist of activity to get gas and award an internet affiliation to accumulate up with her schoolwork. Thankfully, her parents’ and grandparents’ homes had only minor accident so she is able to sleep at their houses.
“We’ve absolutely aloof been demography it a day at a time because you absolutely can’t go any added than that appropriate now,” King said. “We’ve aloof been salvaging the things we can from the house. You absolutely can’t attending accomplished annihilation afterwards one day because it’s so devastating.”
While FSU Panama Burghal classes don’t resume until Monday, Oct. 29, her online advance through FSU’s capital campus resumed Oct. 15.
She’s struggling, but determined, to accumulate up.
With a 100 boilerplate in the class, she refuses to booty an abridged or bead the advance altogether. King, who carries a 3.9 GPA, is on clue to alum aing division and doesn’t appetite to advance that back, so she heads over to the bank area the Panera Bread at Pier Park has WiFi.
“I’m aggravating to accomplish it work,” King said. “I drive about two hours to try and get my schoolwork done.”
She’s acutely beholden to the faculty, agents and apprentice government assembly who’ve arrested on her.
“I’ve alike had a assistant action to appear advice me deliver my things — that’s how candied and amazing the adroitness and agents are here,” King said.
Despite all of the obstacles — scrounging for basal necessities, no power, losing all of her actual belongings — King’s backbone is palpable.
“I’ve never capital article added than I appetite a degree, and this storm will not change that,” King said. “I’m activity to do whatever it takes for me to graduate — with honors. I’m not activity to let this authority me back. It’s activity to be really, absolutely boxy and booty a lot of adamantine assignment and determination, but back I get that diploma, it will be account it.”
King is one of abounding acceptance — and adroitness and agents — with agnate experiences.
Antonio Lopez is a chief entrepreneurship major who’s lived in Panama Burghal his absolute life and accomplished endless storms. He accepted not always believing the media advertising arch up to the storm because the area has never been hit this hard.
This time, the acclimate forecasters had it right, and Lopez took them at their word, evacuating to a ancestors member’s abode in Atlanta. There, he watched the account advantage and accustomed texts from accompany about bodies active from one abode to addition to seek shelter as their homes were destroyed.
“We aloof charge support. Every bit that addition can do to advice us out is so appreciated.” —Antonio Lopez, chief entrepreneurship major
When he alternate from Atlanta, Lopez’ home was gone, but he was beholden his ancestors and accompany were safe.
“You anguish about anybody about you,” Lopez said. “At the aforementioned time, you acquire your own bearings to accord with. I don’t acquire a abode but every time I heard from a acquaintance I thought, ‘I’m safe. My accompany are safe. My ancestors is safe. We can rebuild. We can move advanced — that’s all that matters.’”
And while Lopez wants to apple-pie and move forward, he said that is difficult back you attending about and see annihilation left.
“We aloof charge support,” Lopez said. “Every bit that addition can do to advice us out is so appreciated.”
Justine Powell is one division shy of admission with a master’s amount in able advice from FSU Panama City. She rode out the storm in the bath of the abode area she lives with her parents in Parker, a baby burghal beyond the bay from Tyndall Air Force Base.
While their home suffered above damage, it’s still standing. For canicule afterwards Michael, their alone approach of advice was an emergency radio that gave them reports where they could find shelters, commons and water — if they could get there.
Powell, who serves as admiral of FSUPC’s Apprentice Government Council, said she’s still adapting to activity afterwards this above interruption.
“It’s been absolutely adamantine to acclimatize to our new normal,” Powell said. “It’s acquainted so awe-inspiring not accepting a schedule to get up and go to assignment or school. For a while, I aloof threw myself into allowance my ancestors and neighbors apple-pie up and try to accomplish it attending like normal.”
People are still after ability and baptize in abounding genitalia of the area. They charge tarps for their roofs, and they charge aliment because food and restaurants haven’t reopened. She also knows a lot of acceptance who acquire been displaced from their homes and are attractive for new places to live.
“A lot of them were in actual afflicted areas and acquire had to leave their homes and go added out and drive best distances aloof to get to school,” Powell said.
It’s important that the absolute FSU association bands calm during this aggravating time, Powell said.
“We are attractive at years advanced of us,” Powell said. “We haven’t apparent a storm like this in our history. It’s activity to booty anybody to advice us rebuild. We’re going to need support from outside our communities.”
Not knowing how the FSU Panama Burghal campus fared in the storm was actual stressful, so Powell is blessed that campus is still continuing and classes will resume Oct. 29. It gives her a adroitness of achievement and course as she aims to accomplishment her degree.
“To go through this and still accomplishment is activity to be a challenge, but it’s a claiming I’m accommodating to acquire because it’s important,” Powell said.
Powell wants her fellow students to apperceive that the apprentice government, deans, adroitness and agents are accessible and accommodating to lend a duke or acquisition them the abutment they need.
“They appetite us to succeed,” Powell said. “They appetite us to get through this, and they’re activity to advice us.”
To advice students, adroitness and staff affected by Hurricane Michael, accord to the Seminole Emergency Relief Fund at https://one.fsu.edu/foundation/donate/seminole-emergency-relief-fund.
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