Local family welcomed back home after being displaced from Hurricane Michael

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 6:22 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Grice family couldn’t believe their eyes as they stepped through their front door. There were shiny wood floors and freshly painted walls. It’s far from the home they had to leave behind more than three years ago when Hurricane Michael left it unrecognizable.

“Stepping back into it now, looking at everything it still seems so surreal,” Homeowner Christopher Grice said. “You go from having a home you can come home to, to having a home that you can’t even live in anymore and that on its own is devastating.”

Grice was forced to find a temporary living situation for himself and his three children as he worked to rebuild. But he was losing hope.

“It seemed like every step of the way there was an obstacle,” Grice said.

That was until SBP Florida stepped in, offering top to bottom in repairs.

“I stood right here and cried because I could not believe the amount of work they were offering,” Grice said.

“The main projects that we did here in this home was repairing the drywall. And making sure that everything was complete. We also refinished the flooring because previous contractors had come in and essentially you know heavily damaged this original wood flooring,” Makenzie Wenninghoff, the Community Engagement Manager for SBP Florida, said. “We also repaired the HVAC and finished out the bathrooms so they would have a working bathroom as well.”

There are a lot of things you miss when you say goodbye to your house for so long. But Grice said the best part of being able to move back in is being able to give his kids a place to really call home once again.

“You know it was tough for us because we all had to stay in one tiny little room together. All three of us for a little while and that was probably the hardest thing,” Grice said. “I’m just glad that the kids are going to be in their own room and sleep in their own bed. That to me is a gift on its own.”

SBP Florida is a long-term disaster recovery organization dedicated to repairing homes damaged from storms like Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Sally. For more information on the group, you can visit https://sbpusa.org/where-we-help/florida-panhandle.

Copyright 2022 WJHG. All rights reserved.