Jackson County residents gather for hurricane-relief town hall

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Marianna, Fla. (WTVY) - Nearly a month since Hurricane Michael, and Jackson County still has a lot of work to do to get life back to normal.

The devastation is still apparent when you drive through Marianna.

There are still large piles of debris on the rights-of-way.

Light posts are still out, making the road ways nearly pitch black.

The county commission held a town hall at Marianna High School to provide residents with some helpful information.

"It was very devastating when I drove back into Marianna to see all the trees down and the buildings damaged, and my home damaged," said Marianna resident Sharon Messer.

Sharon Messer has been in storm recovery mode for the past month.

She knows it's going to be awhile before life resembles any kind of normalcy, which is why she came out to the town hall at Marianna High School to hear what's next for Jackson County.

"All the clean-up efforts, and they will continue for as long as they're needed, so it's not like they're going to abandon the area,” said Messer.

The town hall provided people in Jackson County the opportunity to ask questions about the relief effort, and hear from state representatives and program specialists from FEMA.

"The type of assistance that will get you back into your home and living in a safe, sanitary and functional space,” said a FEMA representative.

People wrote their questions down before the meeting, and the county administrator addressed them before the whole panel.

Many had to do with how the debris pick-up schedule would work and what the rules were for burning debris.

Although there's still a lot of work to do, county officials told the crowd they are making progress every day.

"Once the Red Cross Shelter is closed, our power completely restored, and our pods shut down, that's when you officially enter the recovery phase,” said Interim County Administrator Wilanne Daniels.

The Department of Health was also there, providing free flu shots to the public.

Administrator Daniels says this was the first of many town halls the county is hoping to have.

They are planning another one for next week.