JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - "I spent 21 years in the military, and I've seen a lot of things, but this was something that was very unusual," said Rodney Andreasen, Director, Jackson County Emergency Management.
Jackson County residents continue to recover one year after Hurricane Michael. (WJHG/WECP)
More than 70 miles inland from where Hurricane Michael made landfall-- Jackson County saw unprecedented damage.
"Normally we don't get hit as hard as we did inland. I mean, you know, we're 60-70 miles inland. And usually we have wind blowing, a few trees come down," said Clint Pate, Jackson County Commission.
"It looks like a giant lawnmower ran over our town," said Nick Rickman, 2018 World Chef Champion.
One year after the storm, Jackson County is still picking up the pieces.
"We don't have the condensed houses like they do down in Panama (City), but trees, and you know just, acres and acres and acres of trees blown down," said Andreasen.
Andreason said the community has learned from Michael that they are vulnerable to damage from hurricanes.
"It can happen anywhere. And I hope people in the whole state of Florida have seen what we've gone through," said Andreason.
"This taught us a lesson, when a major storm like this is coming, don't batten the hatches down, put some gas in your vehicle and go the other way," said Rickman.
But being so far from the coast, many Marianna residents feel forgotten.
"We're getting even less because we're further back up the line, so we're really not getting a lot of coverage up here," said Rickman.
While they may feel forgotten by the outside world, Jackson County neighbors are proving to each other that their bond as a community is stronger than ever.
"The fact that so many in this community were willing to come together, it just gives you a really good feeling and that reassures you that we're going to be in great shape moving forward," said Rickman.
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