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FEMA Trailers Are Slowly Coming

Guest Dwight C

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Guest Dwight C

LYNN HAVEN, Fla. - FEMA trailers are slowly but surely making their way into Bay County. 

"They will continue to come in as needed," Renee Bafalis, a FEMA public information officer, said. She said there have been some obstacles along the way.

"As you can see, debris is a big issue. We have to make sure that the properties are viable to get the units on and get the debris off the properties," she said. Bafalis told News 13 on Monday that upwards of 1,200 people in the area have been approved for temporary housing assistance. 

Jodi Dillon and her husband evacuated during Michael and returned four days later to see their community and home devastated. "I don't get upset real easy but I was hyperventilating," she said. Michael ripped their home's entire chimney and fireplace off.

"We had a big hole in our house and our house had been open to mother nature," she said. 

After applying for FEMA aid, Dillon said the closest place to stay was with her daughter, 70 miles away. They commuted back and forth to and from Lynn Haven each day. "It was anywhere from two and a half hours to five hours one way," she said.

That was until a FEMA trailer arrived last week. The family is one of the first in Bay County to receive a FEMA trailer since Hurricane Michael six weeks ago.

"Being here on our property actually gives us more hope because now we have the whole day to continue to rebuild and work on the home itself," she said, adding that they could stay in the trailer for up to a year out of the allowed 18 months."We basically have to gut our entire home and rebuild it from the inside out."

However, Dillion is blessed to be living at home again, even if it means sleeping in her front yard. "It's a little cramped but we will make do and we're blessed to have it," she said.

FEMA will continue placing trailers in Bay, Gulf, Gadsden, Jackson, and Calhoun counties. Bafalis said FEMA has already placed some people in other forms of temporary housing like apartments and houses.



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