FEMA trailer sites coming to Panama City

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Many hurricane survivors just a need a roof over their heads, even if it's temporary. But more help is on the way.

FEMA officials say they're adding six group trailer sites in Panama City to give those in need a place to stay, for now.

Thomas Dargan with FEMA said they already have one trailer site set up and ready to go which will hold 41 families. We caught up with one local resident who is staying in a FEMA trailer.

"Basically I lost everything and it was devastating," said Bay County resident Markus Gatlin.

Gatlin said he had to move out of his home due to all the storm damage. "I had a good friend but I basically lived at a friend's house but I didn't want to be a burden," said Gatlin.

He said after the storm, he didn't have a place to call his own until he moved into a FEMA trailer in January. Gatlin lives at a trailer site in Panama City.

"Now when my son comes over, I got a place where he can stay at," said Gatlin.

Dargan said they intend to house 300 more families in trailer sites by the end of February. He said they also want to help them find a permanent place to stay after that.

"This program will end by April 2020 people need to transition into something permanent by that point. So we want everybody those survivors to focus on that next step," said Dargen.

Gatlin said he's working to find housing in Bay County but says it's not that easy.

"It's places that were 600 to 650, now it's 900 or more [per month.] people basically waiting to get things rebuilt and established over here so they can move in," said Gatlin.

Dargan said outside of the group sites, they already have about 500 families in trailers around the county. He said the new trailer sites will be in Panama City on Kraft Avenue, Frankford Avenue, East Avenue and 15th Street.