This week, State Representative Jay Trumbull marked the six-month anniversary of Hurricane Michael’s landfall with a moving speech on the floor of the Florida House of Representatives. A transcript of his speech is below. You may watch the speech by clicking here or on the photo below.
“Imagine, that this afternoon, six months ago, for hours, 155+ mile an hour winds were destroying your community. Your hometown, your home, your children’s neighborhood, and every aspect of where you and your family and your friends call home.
“Six months ago, at this moment, Hurricane Michael was destroying both of our hospitals, all of our schools, our nursing homes, our grocery stores. Michael was tearing down all of our hurricane-proof traffic lights, destroying 95 percent of our sewer system lift stations, breaking 90 percent of our power poles, and breaking 90 percent of our trees.
“Imagine every single building, every man-made and God-made structure in your city was damaged or destroyed. Absolutely everything. When the winds stopped, security systems were sounding, car alarms were blaring, water was spraying where trees and power poles were uprooted. People were screaming, looking for their families, and homes were crushed by trees. After some time, people – neighbors, children – emerged. Cars were crushed, roads were blocked, impassable for many days.
“So here we are, six months after the storm. We’re now faced with flooding and fires. We’ve lost an unknown, large percentage of our population. We’ve lost thousands of service industry workers, teachers, business owners, nurses, and physicians.
“Every business sector and every person has been deeply affected. Every day, homes and businesses are being demolished and hauled off. Kitchens, children’s bedrooms, swing sets, and living rooms are being grappled and piled into dump trucks. Virtually every school was damaged or destroyed.
“And our people aren’t beggars, and we don’t live off of handouts. Our people hand out. Our people give out. I have a friend who left his home after the storm, early every day, to volunteer for our community. At the end of the day, he noticed that the bar of soap in his shower was decreasing dramatically. So he talked to his wife and his wife said, ‘Well, our neighbors don’t have any water, so I invite them over daily to use our shower.’
“Our people are good people. They’re the best people. They suffer great losses, they continue to sacrifice for the well-being of our whole community. Those over 50 years old have come to realize that they are replanting for a future that they will barely see. And my community is essentially a child of our great state, created by this body nearly a hundred years ago. Much of what’s been accomplished and amassed as a community was wiped away this afternoon, six months ago.
“I rise to plead for the deep and continued support of this body as we try to survive back home. If we can survive, we can thrive. But we’ve used all the local and personal resources we have, and as you may be aware, Congress has yet to provide any relief to my community despite multiple attempts to pass legislation to give us relief. They still have not provided one dollar in emergency supplemental relief.
“It’s not surprising. [It’s] disheartening and discouraging to good people who are the greatest supporters of our great state and our country. On behalf of my community, I express our deepest appreciation for the state’s response to the devastation we’ve suffered. Our people are grateful to the great citizens of Florida and across the country, who have continued to volunteer every day in our neighborhoods.
“The best days of my community are ahead of us, if we can get through these worst of days. On behalf of every man, woman, and child in the Panhandle affected by Hurricane Michael, I thank you for every assistance our great state can extend to our appreciative neighborhoods. Thank you for the time, Madam Speaker.”
About Jay Trumbull for State Representative
Born and raised in Panama City, Florida, Jay Trumbull Jr. graduated from Bay High School and then from Auburn University with a degree in Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship. The Trumbull family has been in the bottled water and water conditioning business for over 4 generations and owns 6 Culligan dealerships in Panama City; Ft. Walton; Dothan, Alabama; Mobile, Alabama; Tifton, Georgia; and Americus, Georgia. Jay started out driving a truck for the first 2 years and then later became a part of the dealer management team. Jay is active in local business community organizations, including the Bay County Chamber of Commerce and the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce. Jay married his high school sweetheart, Brittany Fishel. They are members of the First United Methodist Church of Panama City and are both active in the community.
ON THE WEB: jaytrumbull.com