SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - It’s been one year since Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida, between Tyndall Air Force Base and Mexico Beach as category 5 hurricane.
As Michael made its way inland, it devastated portions of Southwest Georgia. Red Cross set up 11 shelters, and 1,700 volunteers rallied to help people get back on their feet.
“I remember driving in and seeing, literally, all the pecan trees just laying down; I mean, huge trees," said Susan Landreth Everitt, Executive Director, American Red Cross of Augusta.
Susan Landreth Everitt had spent three weeks in Wilmington, N.C., and went straight to Bainbridge, Ga. after Hurricane Michael.
“They pulled people out of Florence, especially people who are Georgians, because we like to take care of our own and stay in-state if we can," she said.
Susan remembers driving dirt roads to help people who didn’t necessarily take the storm seriously.
“Just driving down little dirt roads and getting, literally, as far as you can go and seeing if anyone was there," she recalled. “Having people come out who had not evacuated to a shelter and say, ‘we need food,' ‘we need water, but we have no phones, we have no electricity, we can’t get anything.’ Then, for us to be able to say, ‘I got you.”
The 165th Airlift Wing from Savannah also deployed to Southwest Georgia, clearing debris and making roadways passable. They removed tons of trees, and the Red Cross served an impressive amount of food.
“We served half a million meals, a little over half a million meals during the time when we had the shelters open," she said.
Those shelters gave 2,800 people overnight stays.