• Month after Hurricane Michael, Georgia's hardest hit areas still recovering

    By: Chris Jose

    Updated:

    SEMINOLE COUNTY, Ga. - It has been a month since Hurricane Michael left a path of destruction in its wake, and communities in southwest Georgia are still recovering.

    Officials told Channel 2 Action News that it could take years to rebuild.

    An estimated $2 billion in damage was caused to the state's agriculture industry when Michael destroyed fields of cotton, vegetables and pecan orchards.

    Channel 2’s Chris Jose traveled to southwest Georgia to look at the debris still left behind in some of the hardest hit areas.

    “We need to have at least two to three months before we can start to look at ‘Hey, we’re almost done here,’” storm worker Scott Raymond told Jose.

    [PHOTOS: Southwest Georgia still recovering month after Hurricane Michael]

    Channel 2 Action News followed Raymond’s crew around as they cleared the streets. Raymond said recovery efforts have been hampered by a week of wet weather.

    “We’re going to be with this until next year,” he said.

    In Miller County, storm survivor James Nalls said he and his 17-year-old daughter are living in a carport because of the mold and mildew inside his home.

    A 200-year-old oak tree fell in his backyard and another tree put a hole in his roof.

    “It’s going to take years to overcome this," he said. "People are not used to this. A lot of people can’t survive like this. They don’t know what to do.”

    [PHOTOS: Damage to Georgia agriculture from Hurricane Michael]

    Jose also spoke with Kimberly Heard, who owns a women’s clothing store in downtown Donalsonville that sustained some damage from Michael. 

    Over the last month, Heard said that sales have plummeted not only at her store, but at every small business in the area. 

    “We need all the help we can get,” she said.

    Heard said it’s a setback but the focus should be on families who have lost everything. 

    On Tuesday, state lawmakers will convene for a special session called by Gov. Nathan Deal to consider $270 million in funding for recovery.

    More than 30,000 people have requested FEMA officials, according to officials. Disaster recovery centers have opened all over southwest Georgia. 

    [PHOTOS: Hurricane Michael leaves devastating damage behind]

    HURRICANE MICHAEL TIMELINE

    Oct. 7- Hurricane Michael forms in the Atlantic Ocean as a tropical storm.

    Oct. 10- Hurricane Michael makes landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida as a Category 4, according to Severe Weather Team 2. 

    Oct. 15- President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit the areas hit the hardest in southwest Georgia. 

    Oct. 16- Vice President Mike Pence travels to south Georgia and meets with farmers whose crops were destroyed by Michael. 

    Oct. 23- Gov. Deal calls for special session over storm costs related to Michael.

    Nov. 13- A special session will be held by the Georgia Legislature to address funding. 

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