Survivors are Furious. [more photos at NYT]. From [HERE] The destruction is everywhere, at every corner, as far as the eye can see. Mexico Beach, where the hurricane’s eyewall slammed into Florida with 140 mph winds, is flattened. Panama City, gem of the Emerald Coast, looks like a bomb has been dropped on it. It is now a desolate landscape of toppled power poles, transformers, electrical lines, severed trees, and metal roofings, twisted and tangled into a sea of debris. Nearly all homes, businesses, stores, banks, schools are severely damaged or destroyed, skeletal remains with blown out windows or crushed facades. To residents, it is unrecognizable.
There is so much rubble that the official death toll of 14 is expected to rise as search-and-rescue teams inspect thousands of buildings, looking for the missing. A team from the Miami Fire Department found a body in a Mexico Beach home on Friday. About 1,700 workers have checked 27,000 homes, Gov. Rick Scott said after meeting with emergency responders on Saturday evening.
The debris has rendered most roads and streets virtually impassible for evacuees and first responders. Electric poles bent at 90 degrees and power lines strewn like spaghetti cover most lanes. Nearly all transformers were destroyed. Vehicles dodge ruined trees, split like toothpicks or uprooted by the power of the storm.
Driving across the Apalachicola National Forest reserve that borders the coast was like touring a cemetery: endless rows of decapitated trees, leaning perfectly aligned like fallen prisoners who had been executed. Electrical poles 30 feet high have been split in half, their power lines strewn across the macadam. It went on like this for 60 miles.
Since the storm, there’s been no electricity and no water in Panama City. Emergency disaster relief was yet to be seen in strength as of Saturday morning and residents were growing more frustrated and desperate.
Chantelle Goolspy sat in her car making phone calls to get help. Goolspy and many of her neighbors live in a public housing area in downtown Panama City that was badly devastated.
“We’re in need of food, water, anything, we’re not getting any help. The whole street needs help,” Goolspy told the Red Cross. “FEMA referred me to you. That person told me to call 211.”
Down the street, Barbara Sanders stood outside her daughter’s unit, where she had come to stay during the hurricane.
“We’re not getting any help,” she said. “We need food. It’s just crazy.”
Sanders said that not a single relief agency had come by to check on them. Only the police had come and it was to tell everyone to leave. “They told us there’s nothing they can do and it’s gonna take a long time to rebuild,” Sanders said.
Just then a pick-up truck arrived with water. It was the first help this neighborhood had received and it turned out to be two brothers—Chris and Brendon Hill, from Louisiana—who had decided to come and help.