Georgetown woman waiting to hear from family in Florida after Hurricane Michael
A Georgetown woman is still waiting to hear from family members after Hurricane Michael went directly over her home town.
At 10 a.m. Wednesday, Michaela Dollar last heard from her family members in the Panama City, Florida area. They were “hunkered down” in the bathrooms at their homes as the storm blew over.
For the next five hours, Dollar waited for any kind of word from her family. “It was pretty terrifying,” Dollar said Thursday.
She kept her mind off of it at work, but kept seeking any kind updates. Finally, at around 3 p.m. she got a call from her aunt’s cell phone. It was her mom. “And she was crying and she said we’re okay, it’s passed, we don’t know if anyone else is okay, we can’t get ahold of anybody,” Dollar said.
It was an emotional phone call. She was very relieved to hear from her mom but they still didn’t hadn’t heard from her brother. Plus, her mom was very emotional after enduring the storm. “It’s not often that you hear that scared feeling from a parent like that,” Dollar said.
She said her mom heard the pipes sucking and it felt like a tornado. “I don’t think anyone expected the intensity that the storm was going to have,” Dollar said.
Later on Wednesday, she got a “stray text” from her brother’s wife saying they were okay too. However, they’re still waiting to hear from her husband’s grandparents and her aunt and uncle’s family.
Phone lines are down and she says her family is relying on random neighbors lending phones that do have cell service. So it’s difficult to get ahold of anyone. That’s why she’s relying on Facebook. There’s a Facebook group where people are requesting rescues in the area. There are also several posts asking for help to find out if family members are okay.
Dollar made her own post, tagging her loved ones they haven’t gotten ahold of yet. “Really we just want to hear from them,” Dollar said.
She said her mom’s neighborhood doesn’t have power or running water. They did prepare for the storm by filling bath tubs with water. She said they were also fortunately that their home didn’t have much damage. Neighbors, though, had roofs blown off. “She said it was the most horrifying thing she’d ever been through and she would never stay through a hurricane again,” Dollar said.
Dollar said seeing the videos of devastation has been tough. She saw one showing her middle school gym with the walls blown away. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in that gym,” Dollar said. “To see it peeled back that easily is incredible.”
Dollar said she believes her family members they haven’t heard from are okay because their homes weren’t in areas with the most damage. However, she said she just wants to hear from them.