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Two Hurricane Michael victims still recovering but thankful for what they have


JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Hard hit Florida Panhandle residents have said they feel like they’ve been forgotten by the rest of the state. Many are still without a permanent place to live, but those with a home are thankful.

Victims Billy and Robin O’Bryan still feel Hurricane Michael’s impacts.

Two trees brought down by winds hit their mobile home.

“It only took about a week and a half to get out here. And that’s when I found the trees on the house,” said Billy.

They spent more than four months in a pop-up camper with their adult son.

“We made do with what we had and we are thankful for it,” said Robin. “Was it hard? Oh yeah! Oh yeah. It’s hard when you didn’t have a bathroom.”

When asked how they shower, Billy said it’s good to have friends.

“At the friends’ house where we had the camper set up, we used their shower and bathroom,” said Billy.

The O’Bryan’s are among the lucky in Jackson County.

Blue tarps on roofs remain plentiful there.

“There’s still a lot of people still without homes around the area and a lot of people can use some help,” said Billy.

Billy quit his job as a correctional officer to work with heavy equipment in order to afford the new mortgage. The pay at the Department of Corrections simply wasn’t enough.

“No. No. No sir. It might’ve, could’ve made it, but that would have been it. You’d been struggling every week,” said Billy.

The O’Bryan’s said that the downed trees that destroyed their mobile home will remain in place for some time. For now, no one can afford to pick them up.

Robin said she is ready to celebrate the 4th of July.

“More than just that, celebrate that I can celebrate,” said Robin. “I’ve got a home.”

They are also thankful there hasn’t been another storm in the Gulf this hurricane season. Billy and his wife Robin O’Bryan said they are blessed.

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