Family comes to Avon to escape Hurricane Michael

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AVON, Ind. – Even on a beautiful fall day, we should take a moment to stop and remember what’s truly important.

“You can see all the shingles that have come off the roof,” said Michelle Roberson while pointing to a photo of her Florida home on her phone. “Many of them have blown into the pool.”

As she stays at her brother’s home in Avon, she can’t stop thinking about her home near Panama City, Florida. Her neighbors recently sent her pictures of the damage from Hurricane Michael.

“Actually, I broke down and cried from relief just to know,” Roberson said of her reaction to the photos. “The unknown is what is so stressful. Not knowing what condition your home is in, if you’ll be able to live there…”

It’s been nearly 10 days since Roberson, her husband and their two kids packed into their car heading north. They initially planned to wait out the storm in Mississippi, but then it got worse.

“We packed a bag for three days, cause we thought ‘category 3, yeah it’s serious, probably going to be some damage but it should be wrapped up in a few days and we can head back,’” Roberson remembered thinking. “It got upgraded to a 4 and then almost to a 5, and then we knew there’s no way we’re heading back in three days.”

The storm left behind leveled buildings and scattered belongings. While Roberson’s home is still standing, the damage is drastic.

“All the shingles have flown off, the garage door collapsed, the fence is gone, all the beautiful Georgia pine trees in the back are down,” Roberson said. “The shed is turned over and smashed. Our neighbor told us that inside some of the water got in and our ceilings have collapsed.”

As Roberson scrolls through the photos her neighbors sent her, she could spend her time counting all the missing shingles or the uprooted trees. But instead, she’s counting her blessings, taking the time to stop on a family photo and be thankful for what’s truly important.

“Here we are as a family, all together, thank goodness,” Roberson said while looking at the photo. “We’re all together and all safe… that’s number 1, that’s the most important thing, we evacuated, we’re safe.”

Roberson’s husband is driving back down to Florida to assess the damage in person. Roberson is hopeful insurance will help, and that her family can return home soon.

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