BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - "It was difficult to even get a hold of people," said Panama City resident Mike Sumpter." Then once they come out, then they all want money upfront, from there it's just sort of a panic to be honest with you."
Mike Sumter and his family have been living in a Panama City Beach hotel for two weeks due to the damage his house received from Hurricane Michael. He says he spends hours every day looking for ways to repair his home.
"Now because all of the county is looking for it you're kind of under the gun," said Sumpter. "They are going to go out and they're going to get your permits for you supposedly."
Sumter also finds it challenging to trust people to keep their word. "You're at their mercy. I mean I work on computers for a living, I don't do building," said Sumpter. "So I don't know all the different rules or regulations of things so you just have to trust people that will do it."
Bay County County Manager Bob Majka says he's seen a high-volume of people coming in and requesting building permits. He says they are trying to make sure that everything is done correctly as people restore their homes.
"This is really about consumer protection," said Majka. "About the permits and not waiving permits or fees is primarily coming from out of town contractors. It's very important for us to protect our residents."
"You need to do your research," said Sumpter. "We been online, we look at the company who we are dealing with, we talk to other people out there."