A call for help by a Florida family after Hurricane Michael left devastation across the state’s Panhandle region was answered on Saturday thanks to a woman’s keen eye when scanning satellite data.
Amber Gee was scanning the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s interactive aerial map to check in on damage to her grandmother’s property when something stuck out in particular to her.I was checking on damages in the area on houses that belong to my family and I came across my grandma’s house,” Gee told ABC News. “And they had the word H-E-L-P written out in the yard.”
Gee had thought her grandmother and other two relatives had evacuated before the Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds made landfall in Mexico Beach and roared across Florida’s Panhandle into Georgia, flattening trees and damaging structures in its wake. Her uncle, his wife, and a friend of theirs had ended up staying at the house in Youngstown, located 20 miles northeast of Panama City, and became trapped due to “a lot of downed trees” near the home.
“Luckily enough, my uncle who was staying there and was thinking outside of the box wrote the word H-E-L-P out,” she told ABC News.Gee then contact the Bay County Emergency Management, who sent deputies to the home and rescued the group.At least 18 deaths have been attributed to the storm, which has left behind damage that Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long said is the some of the worst he’s ever seen. Long toured several towns in Florida’s Panhandle on Sunday with Gov. Rick Scott. Long said afterward the storm damage will require officials to help meet housing needs of displaced residents for the next several months.Thousands of people are likely to be without power on Florida’s Panhandle for at least another week, as power restoration continues.
In neighboring Georgia, emergency officials said Sunday that approximately 120,000 customers in the state remain without power after in Michael’s wake.
President Trump is set to visit Florida and areas affected by Hurricane Michael on Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Sources: Fox News.