'I just wanted to get on the phone, tell my kids I love them...' former Wabash Valley residents share their Hurricane Michael experiences

Hurricane Michael slammed the Florida Panhandle Wednesday. Here's what some people experienced.

Posted: Oct. 11, 2018 6:38 PM

WABASH VALLEY (WTHI) -- At least six people have died after Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle. Officials say that number could rise as clean up starts.

It’s said to be the third most powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland in recorded history.

The storm has left devastating destruction across Florida and Georgia.

Now, people living in those areas will start the cleanup process.

“Honestly I thought will we ever walk back in here? “ said Lynn Hayed Tullock, former Robinson, Illinois resident.

That’s what she asked herself as her and her husband Larry evacuated their condo on the beaches of Panama City before Hurricane Michael hit.

“And I thought, we won’t have clothes, we won’t have our dishes, our cookware,” Tullock said. “and then I thought all my kids' pictures.”

Those were just a few concerns that crossed her mind as they drove to Alabama.

Mostly though, she was worried about their safety.

She said when they first moved they told their kids they would leave if it ever got too bad.

Meanwhile, another former Valley resident, Lana Barden, now lives in a city north of Panama City.

She stayed and braced for the storm.

She describes what it was like as the hurricane went through her area.

“Pretty scary. I mean the winds picked up quite a bit and you know the rain. It was just awesome and amazing, yet horrible.” Barden said.

Her area didn’t get as bad as Panama City Beach. She says her home is still intact, but there are definite signs that a hurricane came through.

“It was still bad enough to where the winds were pretty high and trees were bending,” Barden said. “Yes, it was scary.”

Tullock and her husband just want to get back home.

But, they do say they’re worried about what they might find.

“I just think the first time we drive through it, it’s going to be heartbreaking.”

The American red cross is asking for monetary donations. If you would like to donate you can call them at 1-800-HELP NOW.

You can also visit their website here.

The Wabash Valley Chapter is also planning on having a blood drive Sunday, October 28th to help the victims of the Hurricanes. 

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