Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the day Hurricane Michael made landfall in Mexico Beach, Florida. It might not always feel that way, but the residents of nearby Panama City have a lot to celebrate.
The category 5 hurricane was one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the United States, and the devastation it wrought on the Panhandle was monstrous. Winds of 150 mph leveled homes and businesses, claimed the lives of 16 people, caused roughly $25 billion in damage, and left thousands homeless.
In Panama City, where Hurricane Michael destroyed or damaged 85% of the structures, recovery has been slow and strenuous. But the businesses, residents, and institutions continue to persevere, working together to rebuild.
This weekend, Panama City will come together once again—this time to celebrate the community’s strength and spirit. This Saturday, October 12, Panama City will host a free Survivors Jam to recognize the community’s impressive commitment to recovery. The Panama City Survivors Jam will feature tribute versions to classic musical acts including Survivor, REO Speedwagon, Fleetwood Mac, and many more. There will also be food and craft vendors.
"I think it's good for all of us to come together and just talk about what has happened in the past year, where we were at after the hurricane and where we're at today," Pam Armstrong, owner of Tom's Hot Dogs, told WJHG.
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The Panama City Survivors Jam starts at 3p.m. in Gateway Park then moves over to the grassy area behind McKenzie Park.