Local FHP troopers head south to help in Hurricane Ian response efforts
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - It wasn’t that long ago, our community was calling for help after Hurricane Michael hit us head-on in 2018. People from all over were sending resources and law enforcement officers across the state came running. Now it’s time to return the favor.
Help is on the way. Twenty-five Florida Highway Patrol troopers from Panama City to Pensacola are already in Southwest Florida lending a hand to those most impacted by Hurricane Ian.
Corporal Jacob Moore made his way from Bay County to Hardee County Thursday, as part of the FHP rapid deployment team for the storm.
“Our biggest focus right now is making sure that one obviously that people are safe. They aren’t trapped or stuck in somewhere they can’t get help and then we’re focusing on making sure people have supplies they need,” Moore said.
While surveying the damage, Moore said it brought him back to October 2018.
“They’ve seen a flooding and a lot of trees down, a lot of wind damage,” Moore said. “Very similar to what we went through with Michael, it brings back a lot of memories. you know it’s almost like deja-vu being down here.”
It’s unclear how long he and the other troopers will be deployed to help. Lieutenant Jason King with the Florida Highway Patrol said they deployed a total of 125 troopers from across the state.
Meanwhile, troopers in Panama City are loading up a trailer with water and meals ready to eat. It may not seem like much, but King said it’s not just about supplies, it’s about them feeling supported.
“Living through Hurricane Michael in Calhoun County and the EOC, and seeing the outpouring of support from sheriffs offices and other troopers from around the state was kind of, gave you the little extra energy to keep pushing through as you worked those 22-hour days with no sleep, no bath at some point,” King said. “We lived through this with Hurricane Michael and they sent resources up from Central and South Florida. It’s our turn to pay them back and sent our resources down.”
“We feel you. We know it’s a tough time. But it’s not anything that doesn’t come to an end. Everything gets better,” Moore said.
Copyright 2022 WJHG. All rights reserved.