PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford says those in the Emergency Operations Center in Southport didn’t know how badly Hurricane Michael had damaged the area until he got there.
“It was really a strong moment as 10 or 15 people were emerging from that building and asking me what I saw,” Ford said. “I saw the county manager and just said it was bad.”
The sheriff’s office lost some of their roof and parts of it flooded.
“People were debating if there were tornadoes- I felt like we were in a 50 mile wide tornado,” Ford said.
Ford says after the storm, there were sometimes 600 deputies from across the state helping the community. He is also proud of his own team and how they responded after Michael hit.
“I’m very pleased with how everybody just fell into the rhythm doing what they needed to do to protect this community,” Ford said. “The fact we didn’t have communications was terrible, but our people knew what to do.”