Panama City leaders discuss progress three years after Hurricane Michael

Local News

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City, city officials said Hurricane Michael tested the resilience of this community beyond belief.

Panama City was devastated by Hurricane Michael in 2018. Much of the city’s infrastructure was torn apart by the Cat 5 storm but now, Panama City Mayor, Greg Brudnicki, said the city is now able to resource a lot of things that were either ruined or finished off by the storm.

“We’re going to take advantage of that situation, because it really took advantage of us,” Brudnicki said.

Brudnicki said Panama City has come a long way in the last three years and is hopeful they can be finished with the city’s recovery two to four years from now.

“Is that possible? I don’t know,” Brudnicki said. “But I do know based on the funding that we should be receiving, the soft costs and engineering that it’ll take to get us to the point to repair and fix everything it’s doable.”

He adds Panama City is slated to receive more funding to fix roads damaged by Hurricane Michael and the aftermath.

“We have $113 million coming from the state of which 80 percent of it has to be repaid — the other 20 percent is a grant we don’t start repaying it until after like 6 months after we get it and then its an interest free loan to the state to use that money and it will probably totally repair 40 percent of the roads in the city,” Brudnicki said. “We won’t be able to do everything, but we’ll we able to do everything that’s damaged.”

Brudnicki said officials along with residents should be hopeful for the city’s future.

“We’re going to really make, as our illustrious city manager says, create the premiere city of the Panhandle,” Brudnicki said.

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