Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried today released a new mini-documentary video entitled “America’s Forgotten Disaster,” highlighting the destruction and consequences of Hurricane Michael, with a focus on forestry and timber.
The video documents Commissioner Fried’s tours of Panhandle communities devastated by Hurricane Michael, features visually powerful reminders of the damage to forests and timber farms and the looming threat of wildfire, and includes reactions from state legislators who participated in the visits.
“There’s no replacement for seeing Hurricane Michael’s devastation first-hand – but for those unable to do so, this video provides the perspective needed to grasp the magnitude of this crisis,” said Commissioner Fried. “There are no words for the communities and livelihoods left in ruins by the storm, but my hope is that there will be action – because our Panhandle is at risk of being forgotten.”
On Friday, Hurricane Michael was retroactively upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane. The third-strongest storm to ever strike North America, the 161-mph hurricane devastated 3 million acres of Florida forests and left behind 72 million tons of downed trees, causing a $1.3 billion blow to Florida agriculture and creating a wildfire threat ten times higher than normal.