decorative image of bigtentclocktower , PSC’s Pensacola campus used as emergency staging area after Hurricane Sally 2020-09-28 10:26:40 Published: 09-28-2020

Troy Moon, Pensacola State College

There are still plenty of emergency and recovery personnel on Pensacola State College campuses following Hurricane Sally’s destruction. You’ll still see cleanup crews, tree service crews and others on campus this week.

But in the immediate days after the storm, the PSC Pensacola campus was a staging area for the State of Florida’s emergency central fueling station.

Gulf Power Co. also used the campus to house out-of-town power workers from Florida Power and Light who came to Northwest Florida from across the South to restore power to the region.

Large tents were set up on the lawn in front of Building 10 (Business) where several hundred Florida Power and Light lineman rested, spent their evenings and slept during work breaks.

“The whole west side of the Pensacola campus was a tent city,” said Pensacola State College President Ed Meadows. “We had over 100 bucket trucks on campus.”

decorative image of insidetent , PSC’s Pensacola campus used as emergency staging area after Hurricane Sally 2020-09-28 10:26:49Michael Johnston, PSC executive director of Institutional Research, visited the tents and talked to some of the workers.

“I never thought I would see a tent city in the United States, but I am grateful our campus could open up for the community and those workers in need,” Johnston said. “The aftermath of Hurricane Sally is sobering. I have met dozens of people that have traveled from all over the United States to help. I am beyond grateful.”

The crews arrived at PSC on Sept. 17 and Sept. 18 – the storm hit in the early morning hours of Sept. 16. Crews left the area on Sept. 23.

“We were glad we could do it,” Meadows said. “What a wonderful public service we were able to provide to a damaged Northwest Florida.”

Photos by Michael Johnston