DNC chair tours Hurricane Michael devastation

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - "Let the little people like us who don't have the income get the help we need to get our places fixed," said Bay County resident Mary Ott as she fought back tears. "We matter just as much as anybody."

DNC Chair Tom Perez was in Bay County Wednesday to see the hurricane devastation up close. (WJHG/WECP)

She is one of the people who shared her story with Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez during his visit to Bay County on Wednesday.

"I had been hearing time and time again, eight months after the hurricane people... their lives weren't being improved and I wanted to come down and see for myself," said Perez.

Perez's visit comes on the heels of a relief bill just recently passed in Congress, something he said was long overdue.

"Well, perhaps what we should have done is to pass a bill docking the pay of the folks who were holding up the bill last week. I'm not sure that would pass legal muster but boy, if it did I'd sure like to hold some of these folks accountable," said Perez.

For people like Ott, the more time passes, the more she feels forgotten.

She said, "Going through this nobody seems to care but yet everybody says, 'We're here to help each other,' but when you ask for help there's nobody here to help us."

Ott has been living in a friend's trailer after she says she was denied FEMA assistance--something Chairman Perez says needs to be fixed.

Perez said, "The notion that you're pulling out, 'Well, the disaster happened nine months ago.' Federal Emergency Management Agency--there's still an emergency here in the Panhandle for thousands of people."

Perez says this might not be America's finest hour, but, "We're not gonna forget ya, we're gonna keep fighting because we're not Republicans, Democrats, Independents... we're all part of the American Fabric."

Fabric currently marred with stains of destruction as the Panhandle struggles to recover.

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