She estimated that more than half of the city’s roughly 20,000 residents do not have generators. Or, in some cases, they have one that does not work.
Starlia Jackson, 56, spent Sunday afternoon huddled outside her camper with her dogs, Romeo and Pooh. The old camper rocked from side to side during the storm’s afternoon assault but survived in the driveway of her late mother’s one-story brick house. The house took in water and wind after the French doors in the back shattered, so now the camper is home.
Since the storm, Ms. Jackson has lived on strawberry soda, canned tuna and bottled water. The camper has a stove, but Ms. Jackson is low on propane gas, and on money to buy more. The house has a generator, but it is sitting broken on a tarp in the driveway.
She cannot take her two pets with her to a shelter, so for now she plans to stay, dragging a grill she has not used in years next to the camper.
“No power for possibly two months? Are you serious?” she asked. “I have no idea what I am going to do for that kind of time. You survive a storm, and then there is all the stuff that comes afterward that can be just as devastating.”
Wanda Grigsby stepped among the downed trees and limbs to find a cleared spot to stand in her yard. She stood in the brutal heat wearing shorts, a T-shirt and rubber boots. Hurricane Michael had brought her to tears: It ripped off chunks of her house’s roof and dumped an impossibly thick layer of pink insulation all over the kitchen, living room and den. Even if she cleaned it up, the power will not be coming back soon, and neither will the running water that relies on it.
“I have my 6-year-old grandson with me — no way can we do this,” said Ms. Grigsby, 54, who used to own a day care center and now is a caretaker for her mother. “I am going to stay with family in Jacksonville for a while.”