Former Congressman says Panhandle has been forgotten

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - A Senate committee was told that Florida’s Forgotten Coast has really been forgotten when it comes to Hurricane Michael.

Former Congressman Steve Southerland, who chairs Stand Up for North Florida, says Thanksgiving and Christmas followed by the Super Bowl has limited coverage of the plight of many who are still suffering from the storm.

“People in my county, citizens an hour and a half from where you sit today are still living in tents. Tents. I burn a cord of firewood every year in Panama City. It gets cold there, temperatures in the high twenties, but people with children still living in tents. It’s difficult to watch,” said Southerland.

The Legislature does have $1.6 billion in the budget for hurricane relief, but most of it will go to cities and counties to cover loans for debris removal and overtime for first responders.