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Hurricane Michael evacuees return to north Alabama after surveying damage, don’t know when they’ll be able to go back

HAZEL GREEN, Ala. -- When you walk into Shari Myhre's home, you'd never guess her family was dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.

Her son and his family have been staying with her for a week, but they never planned to be there that long.

"We grabbed enough for about three or four days, that was it," said her son, TSgt. Kenn Myhre. "We had no intention of being here longer."

Kenn, Blair, and their three young children are evacuees of Hurricane Michael's destruction. They had to leave their home in Panama City last Tuesday, the day before the storm caused the most damage.

They evacuated their home with haste, but with the important things in mind.

"We grabbed important paperwork... we had each other, we had our family, the other stuff and material things can be rebuilt," Kenn said.

Blair's brother-in-law had to stay in the area for the storm, and he waited it out in their house. They watched the destruction of their home and neighborhood on Facebook Live.

"He did a Facebook Live in the middle of the storm," Kenn said. "And was showing the damage, showing the flooding coming into the home, showing the wind and the trees breaking."

On Monday, nearly a week after the storm, they made the trip back down to Panama City to survey the damage.

"I held it together pretty, well, until we turned down the road to go into our neighborhood, " Blair remembered. "And...I just lost it."

They said what they saw when they arrived in their neighborhood resembled a war zone, it looked like "a bomb had gone off."

Their home has four walls and a roof, but just barely.

"We have busted windows, we have sand inside the house from the flooding," Kenn said.

They've explained what happened to their kids, ages 6, 4 and 3, but know they can only understand so much. Blair said one of the hardest things she saw, while they were at their house, was her kids' big playhouse "completely crumbled and all over the backyard."

And as far as when they will go back home? They don't have an answer. They know right now they're not allowed to go back, and the kids' schools won't be open any time soon.

For now, this family is focusing on what they can do to help their community, and ask that if you feel called, to donate to their home church's relief efforts in Panama City.