By Tyler Dunn
Hurricanes have been in full force over the last few months. Recently Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle, leaving Mexico Beach and Panama City Beach in shambles. The latest death toll was said to be around 18, with city officials still on the hunt for survivors among the wreckage. City manager for Mexico Beach, Tanya Castro, told ABC News that they were still trying to locate those who didn’t evacuate.
Michael has been recorded as one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the U.S. With 155 mph winds at landfall, Michael was nearly a Category 5 storm that smashed records as the strongest ever to roar onto the state’s exposed Panhandle. Residents compared the damage to that of an atomic bomb over the cities.
Despite the damage and evacuations, some cities were denied a voter registration extension. Opening the door for many injunctions to be filed, they believe this is necessary for city residents. In the words of Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, “Our lawsuit is about protecting the right to vote for people impacted by Hurricane Michael in a moment where state officials have been unresponsive and unwilling to do the right things,” and many residents agree with her. With a country already in a state of dissonance, not allowing people a constitutional right has people up in arms, rallied together to make sure their voices are heard.
So while Michael decimated cities and left people struggling to recover it has also sparked a fire in people, and become a catalyst for a movement. In a way the destruction has fostered reconstruction for more than cities, it has fostered the reconstruction voices that have been silent for far too long.