Jimmy Patronis: ‘You’re not supposed to come home and see your town gone’
On Friday afternoon, Jimmy Patronis stood in front of the wreckage of his childhood memories and talked to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
A Panama City Beach native who represented the area in the state House before appointed last year to be the state’s Chief Financial Officer, Patronis used as a backdrop his storm-ravaged junior high school to address the unprecedented devastation Hurricane Michael brought to his hometown.
“You’re not supposed to come home and see your town gone … to see everything that meant something to you all in a pile of rubble,” he said, voice cracking under the weight of emotion.
“What I’m standing in front of right now is the junior high school I went to,” Patronis said.
“I played basketball in that gymnasium. I was in shop class right next to it, and it’s no more” he said. “This is just a snapshot of what Panama City is like. Panama City, Mexico Beach, Apalachicola … it’s been scraped off the map.”
Patronis continued: “Our two primary hospitals, Gulf Coast Medical Center and Bay Med. My children were born at Gulf Coast. I was born in Bay Med.”
“They have suffered catastrophic failures