I’ve been back and forth across the panhandle on I-10 this weekend. The destruction, just from the interstate, is unbelievable. Forests along the road are barren of leaves, or flattened as though a malevolent giant swung an enormous dull axe across the landscape. The crowns of giant pine trees hang on precarious strips of bark alongside the trunks from which they were wrenched. Leaves and sawdust and other debris litter the shoulder. Signs have blown away. Billboards hang in tatters. What a mess.
On the bright side, convoys of utility workers, law enforcement, and National Guard soldiers were still making their way west this afternoon to aid people in desperate need. I choked up riding behind a convoy of JEA linemen Friday night, overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers from my hometown heading into the wreckage to bring a measure of peace and comfort to those in need. Coming home this afternoon, I saw JEA trucks on my street, too, and the power is on. What else can I say, but thank you? Thank you! I am ready to help anyone who needs it if I can.