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North Florida Inland Long Term Recovery Group finds resilience during pandemic

 Heavy surf from the approaching Hurricane Michael pounds the fishing pier on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. (Devon Ravine/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)
Heavy surf from the approaching Hurricane Michael pounds the fishing pier on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. (Devon Ravine/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP) (KY3)
Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 5:55 PM CDT
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MARIANNA, Fla. (WTVY) -

Almost two years after Hurricane Michael devastated the central Florida panhandle, a second storm has halted continuing recovery efforts: Coronavirus. The pandemic forced volunteer groups that were working hard to get the community back to normal to go home. Over a year and a half’s work on the road to recovery slowed to nearly a stop.

The North Florida Inland Long Term Recovery Group didn’t waste time while repair and recovery efforts were temporarily put on hold. Instead, it reflected on the past and looked ahead to the future. It squared away active, but paused, recovery cases and made sure everything was good to go when recovery efforts could resume once again. It is also taking the time to reflect on the resiliency of the group and the community despite additional challenges due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Resilience isn’t always just smiles and rainbows, and being positive,” executive director Kristy Terry tells us. “We see the faces of those who are angry, frustrated, hopeless in some sense, but they push through.”

The Group and the community’s resilience is what allows them to continue down the road to recovery after Hurricane Michael. If the region can get through a category 5 hurricane, they can get through a pandemic too.

The North Florida Inland Long Term Recovery Group is also looking forward to the end of 2020 and the start of 2021. It’s already making plans to have volunteer groups return to the area as early as the fall. Once they return, work on active recovery cases will resume. The Group is also looking to add new recovery cases to their list.

Anyone that still has damage or other storm-related issues but do not have the proper resources to fix it can contact the North Florida Inland Long Term Recovery Group by calling 850-724-1120 or visiting their website at www.northfloridarecovery.org

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