Panama City, FL – A video posted to social media showed a Family Dollar store in hurricane-ravaged Florida being combed through by looters in the wake of the storm (video below).
Andrew Newcomb of Live Storms Media captured video of the discount store in Panama City after Hurricane Michael passed through the area as a Category 3 storm.
The video showed that the Family Dollar was missing at least half of its walls, and most of its roof.
People were driving directly up to the front of the store to load items into cars.
The video showed more than 20 people digging through the rubble inside the framework of what used to be the Family Dollar, and coming out with armfuls of goods.
At the start of the video, a prominently-labeled Yellow Cab sat parked up front, prompting viewers to wonder whether the driver was looting the store, or if someone had taken a taxi to do their looting.
At the end of Newcomb’s video, a man can be heard saying “I gotta go get me some laundry detergent” off camera.
WMMB reported that Bay County officials had announced a curfew that began at 5 pm on Wednesday until daybreak on Thursday. There was speculation that curfews would be extended through the remainder of the week.
Their reporter streamed her reports live on social media because the television station’s power and signal had been knocked out when Hurricane Michael passed over. There was still no power as of early Thursday evening.
William “Brock” Long, chief administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said the town of Mexico Beach, Florida, near where Hurricane Michael made landfall, had sustained maximum impact, The Washington Post reported.
Aerial views of Mexico Beach showed almost every structure had been seriously damaged, and many had been completely destroyed. The video showed empty lots with sticks of debris were the only thing that remained on some blocks of the street.
“Mexico Beach took the brunt,” Long told reporters at a press conference on Thursday morning. “That’s probably ground zero.”
He said FEMA had not yet been able to get into the affected areas to “truly assess” the damage but that he hoped that task would be accomplished before the weekend.
Long warned that repairs in the storm’s wake would not happen overnight.
“It’s not just power lines being down, it’s transformers that are down, it’s substations that have been impacted,” the FEMA chief said. “This is not stuff that you just put back together overnight.”
The only good news Long delivered at the press conference was the expectation that Hurricane Michael would not be causing flooding in the same parts of North and South Carolina that were under water after Hurricane Florence in September.
Watch people looting the Family Dollar store in Panama City in the video below: