Madison County pulls together and gets help after Idalia
The storm was frightening, but the response was uplifting.
Terry Lee Gilmore, Jr. and his mother live in Pinetta, Florida, a dot on the map of Madison County up near the Georgia line. They got their power back on Sunday, four days after Idalia roared through.
Gilmore has been through a number of hurricanes. He and his mother were without power for nine days after Hurricane Matthew in 2016, but he says this was somehow worse.
“I don’t know how to explain it," he said. "Maybe because it’s the time of the year. Maybe it’s hotter than it was when Matthew came through. Maybe my generator was running better back then. But you know, being in a tornado – which is what the storm really was for us for two-and-a-half hours – that was scary. Really, really scary.”
But Gilmore says the response was uplifting. There were police officers from Jacksonville, line workers from North Carolina and people who came from many places there to help. He’s deeply grateful.
“Everybody that came from other states, other counties, other cities to get the power back on – which is not a response that we saw during Matthew," he said. "I don’t know if that’s because we weren’t declared as an emergency or a disaster zone – I don’t know. But honestly, it was much better this time than it was for those nine days during Matthew. So, thank you to whoever.”
On Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that nearly 545,000 accounts, representing 96% of all accounts that lost power following Hurricane Idalia, have been restored.
Copyright 2023 WFSU. To see more, visit WFSU.