PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — After more than two and a half years since Hurricane Michael, Panama City leaders are reviewing the damage to the Marina Civic Center.
On Thursday, June 10, city leaders will simulate Hurricane Michael force wind and rain conditions in an effort to receive all eligible funding from FEMA.
“FEMA requires the City to show that the equipment was damaged as a result of Hurricane Michael, in order for us to be eligible for this funding,” said City Manager Mark McQueen. “So, we are going to attempt to recreate a once-in-a-generation hurricane.”
According to the release, the city and FEMA disagree about how much damage in the civic center was caused by Hurricane Michael. The disagreement amounts to 21 million in funding.
“The testing demonstrates the extraordinary lengths that the City has taken to ensure our community receives all of the funding that it is eligible for as we work to become the premier city in the Florida Panhandle,” said McQueen. “We will continue to practice fiscal discipline and be careful stewards of our citizens’ hard-earned dollars as we rebuild Panama City.”
City leaders said the parking lot for the Marina Civic Center, including the boat ramp, will be closed from Wednesday, June 9 at 8 p.m. to Thursday, June 10 at 5 p.m.
They also warned that the testing will create a “considerable” amount of wind noise starting at 8 a.m. and lasting for eight hours.