Rain Forces Several People Out of Their Homes in Bay County

By: Kati Weis Email
By: Kati Weis Email

Numerous Bay County families have been displaced from the torrential rains.

The eastside of Panama City has experienced a great deal of flooding, including a number of homes in Parker.

"I went outside to check the mailbox and it was like a swimming pool outside," said Sammy Williams of Parker.

"A lot of the streets in Parker flooded and at this point we have about 25 or 30 families that are displaced because the water got into their homes," Parker Fire Chief Andrew Kelly explained Thursday.

Red Cross officials have had so many calls from displaced families that they, along with Bay County Emergency Management Officials, decided to open a shelter at the Bay County Fairgrounds.

Fire Officials worked around the clock Thursday to pump water out of residential areas with poor drainage.

"Because most of the water north of Cheri Lane Town Homes drains in this direction, it can't discharge as fast as it should, so we're accelerating that by pumping the water from the townhomes into the drainage system across the street," said Fire Chief Kelly.

Red Cross officials say they're ready to house as many people as needed. The shelter is equipped with food, cots, and blankets.

Volunteers say that even though it might sound strange, they are happy to donate their time on a holiday for those in need.

"You are here working a shift which may be a 12-hour shift, it may be a six-hour shift, depending on what we need, and we will be here as long as people need a roof over their heads," said Red Cross volunteer Steve Harvard.

The shelter opened at seven on Thursday night.

It's located at the corner of Highway 98 and Sherman Road in Panama City.

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