Family moves back into home 583 days after Hurricane Michael

Panama City

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – A sign that reads “We’re in the R.V.” is no longer needed on the Hawley’s front door.

Rhonda and Curtis Hawley are finally able to sleep in their home 583 days after Hurricane Michael hit the area and ripped off a chunk of their roof.

This caused severe water damage and led to a long and expensive list of repairs. The work was then delayed after Hawley said their insurance company didn’t play fair.

“You rarely file a claim, and when you need it, you have to fight for what is rightfully yours,” said Rhonda Hawley.

After hiring a public adjuster who then had their legal team get involved, they were able to secure the money they needed to fix their home. However, it’s a battle they never anticipated to have and sadly, so many others are still fighting.

“It’s just a really sad commentary that the majority of people that are still out of the homes are there because of insurance issues and I hope this brings about reform and accountability,” said Hawley.

There’s still plenty of work left to be done at their Panama City home and the family still has yet to move everything back in from their camper. But they’re so much closer to making new memories under their new roof.

“This house is more about family than shelter. It shelters our family but it shelters our memory and it shelters our heart.”

Hawley documented the occasion of finally being back in their home with a letter board that now sits on their night stand.

While excited and grateful for this moment, she’s heartbroken for those who are still struggling to get back to normal.

“My hurt hurts for the families who are not where we are,” said Hawley. “We still have a ways to go, but there are so many of my students, coworkers, and fellow Bay county residents who are still in transitional housing.”

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