PANACEA -- The muggy air hung heavy over the small Gulf Coast town of Panacea on Tuesday as Hurricane Michael churned toward the Florida Panhandle. Grey clouds glided quickly across the sky over the main street’s shuddered seafood shacks.
Storm surges, combined with the new moon tide, were expected to rise in this area anywhere from nine to 13 feet. By Tuesday afternoon, sheriff’s deputies had already knocked on doors twice. The first time, it was to urge people to leave. The second: taking down the information and next-of-kin of those who remained — of which there are many.