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The Miracle House – Rebuilding After the Storm

Field Report by Operation Blessing

FLORIDA – In October of 2018, Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle as a category 5 storm. It made history as one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to make landfall in the United States. Communities all along the coast were left in ruins by the strong winds, torrential rain, and relentless storm surge. And as Denis and Kathy know all too well, rebuilding after a hurricane can take years. 

Earlier that year, Denis and Kathy had moved to Panama City Beach. After multiple heart attacks, Denis’ doctors had suggested that the salt air would be good for his health. Just three months after their move, Hurricane Michael turned their dream into a nightmare. 

“Hurricane Michael came out of nowhere,” Denis recalled. “In just a few short days, it was upon us. We left. We weren’t going to take a chance with a storm that size.” 

When they returned to their home after the storm, what they found looked encouraging—or so they thought. “When we came back it appeared we were in pretty good shape,” Denis said. “It was a couple of months later that the walls started getting really soft… That’s when we knew we had a problem.”  

Days Following the Storm

hurricane michael rebuild

Unbeknownst to Denis and Kathy, the storm had permeated their house with water. Soon, mold began to grow. “The house just started disintegrating around us,” Kathy remembered. “Big pieces of sheet rock actually caved in, and when it caved in we saw that it was black inside the wall.” 

Denis and Kathy were forced to move into their garage. While they received some money from their insurance company to help with repairs, it wasn’t nearly enough to cover the catastrophic damage their home had suffered. With Denis’ health issues and without the resources to pay for the repairs, Denis and Kathy grew desperate. Time stretched on without a solution. “I asked God to please help us,” Kathy said. “Please tell us what to do; show us which way to go.” 

Then God sent YOU as an answer to their prayers! “We got a call from Operation Blessing, and they told us that they wanted to rebuild our house,” Kathy said. “We just couldn’t believe it. I could hardly talk I was so excited!” 

Rebuilding After The Hurricane

new home after hurricane

Thanks to you, Operation Blessing soon began work on Denis and Kathy’s home. The generosity of Operation Blessing partners like you helps people with rebuilding after the hurricane, even years after the storm has come and gone. The house had already been taken down to the studs. Our team treated for mold before rebuilding with new sheet rock, ceilings, trim, flooring, window framing, cabinets, and more. Denis said, “They built the whole thing back up. Everything that you see they did.” 

After two years of living in their garage and a camper in the backyard, Kathy and Denis finally came home again. “I pray that God will open heaven and pour out his blessings on Operation Blessing… I just pray that God will bless you like he’s blessed us,” Kathy exclaimed. “Just come look at my house because it’s a miracle house.” 

hurricane recovery

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