COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Hurricane Michael’s destruction and devastation hit home for one of Columbus’ most beloved families. Dinglewood Pharmacy owner, Terry Hurley, is driving to his family’s cottage along Mexico Beach fearing it’s gone after 63 years of memories.
“From what we can tell from photos we have seen and little excerpts and snippets of where we think our house is in that area, there is nothing there. It just looks like a baseball field with stuff strewn about it,” Hurley told News 3 on the phone while driving to Mexico Beach.
Before landfall, Terry’s daughter posted a picture of the cottage that was built by her grandparents 63 years ago. She explains the home was the last thing she had left of her mom, who’s passed away.
“It was four houses back from the dunes, and it has been there since 1955. So, it’s like going down to identify a body of a beloved family member. It is not a happy trip,” said Hurley.
The category four storm, with 155 miles per hour winds, annihilated thousands of homes, wiping out the Bay County community. A Florida man and Georgia girl died in the storm. Emergency responders fear more deaths as they begin searching the rubble.
Hurley tells News 3 he is channeling his sorrow into recovery efforts as he focuses on helping neighbors and strangers rise from the storm.
“Lot of people there in a lot worse shape than we are. People who live there and rely on their place to make a living. We had it as a luxury sort to speak. We are still devastated, but we are nowhere near as hurt as other people there,” said Hurley.
Hurley and his family are collecting supplies at Dinglewood Pharmacy on Wynnton Road. You can drop off bottled water, latex gloves, trash bags, non-perishable food items, diapers, towels, tarps, and tents off at the pharmacy. Hurley says his family is making several trips back and forth to Mexico Beach and will make sure supplies are shared with those who need them.
News 3 plans on joining Hurley and his family Friday at Dinglewood Pharmacy for the supply drive. We hope to be live on News 3 Midday, First Edition, and Evening Edition. We hope to see you out there as we help the immediate needs of families devastated by Hurricane Michael.