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RECOVERY, INTERRUPTED

Coronavirus has upended Florida’s long, slow recovery from 2018’s brutal hurricane season

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
Hurricane Michael was one of the strongest storms to make landfall in US history. Nearly two years later, the recovery was ongoing–and then coronavirus hit.
  • Tim McDonnell
By Tim McDonnell

Climate reporter

As the Atlantic hurricane season officially begins this week, forecasters are saying it may be one of the most active on record. Add to that the coronavirus pandemic, which promises to complicate every stage of hurricane response, from emergency aid to reconstruction of homes and economies.

But disaster response is a long game—which means Covid-19 is already disrupting recovery from storms that are in our rearview mirror.

Hurricane Michael hit the Florida panhandle in October 2018. The brunt of the storm fell on Bay County, Florida, where the pandemic has thrown rebuilding months behind schedule, leaving hundreds of families without homes and struggling to get back on their feet.

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