Luke Bryan's mother pictured looking distraught as she returns to find her beachfront house completely ruined by Hurricane Michael
Luke Bryan had asked his followers on Twitter to 'pray for Florida and my people' as Hurricane Michael struck. His mother's house however, was unable to withstand the storm.
Singer Luke Bryan's mother was devastated after her beachfront property was damaged beyond recognition by Hurricane Michael as it swept across the Florida Panhandle. 71-year-old LeClaire Bryan was seen sifting through the remains of her home in Mexico Beach in images that surfaced after the massive storm that claimed the lives of at least 36 earlier this month. LeClaire appeared to be comforted by a man identified as James Whiddon as she is overwhelmed by the destruction caused by the hurricane.
The impact of Hurricane Michael stretched from the Florida Panhandle all the way to the Georgia border, pulverizing LeClaire's property which was on its path, reports the Daily Mail.
While the American Idol judge's representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment, Luke had a break over the weekend from his 'What Makes You Country' tour, with the final two shows scheduled for Michigan and New York next weekend.
On October 10, the 42-year-old legend urged his fans on Twitter to pray for those whose lives were devastated by the deadly storm. "Hey everyone. Pray for my people. So many dear people I know are being affected. My mother and so many friends live in Mexico beach. And now it's bearing down on Albany and Leesburg," he wrote.
Hey everyone. Pray for my people. So many dear people I know are being affected. My mother and so many friends live in Mexico beach. And now it’s bearing down on Albany and Leesburg.— Luke Bryan (@LukeBryanOnline) October 11, 2018
The previous death toll of 36 rose further on Saturday after the death of a woman was confirmed by a local medical examiner in Bay County, Florida, bringing the toll to 26 in Florida alone. The damage is being compared to that of Hurricane Katrina, authorities said, which destroyed entire communities in Southern Mississippi back in 2005. While Hurricane Andrew in 1992 called for tougher regulations and standards in the state of Florida, quite a few older buildings were not able to withstand the terrifying impact of Michael.
Columbia University's Dr. Irwin Redlener, who is a part of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the institute, studied the long-lasting psychological effects after Hurricane Katrina. According to a study, parents reported more than 37 percent of children had been clinically diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or a behavior disorder even five years after the storm.
This is also because parents were unable to completely buffer their children from bad experiences, being overwhelmed themselves, Redlener says. Speaking to The Washington Post, he said: "They survived a major catastrophic event, which is good. But everything they knew is gone." Children directly took cues from their parents on how to respond to such frightening situations, research scientist David Murphey said. "If they see parents kind of falling apart at the seams, that's going to create anxiety for the children as well," he said.
That said, the number of Hurricane Michael-related power outages in North Florida came down from 400,000 to around 82,000 as of Sunday, according to the Governor's office. About 1,200 employees have been deployed by Gulf Power for power restoration, with 6,200 volunteers from across 15 states who are working day and night to repair the damage. However, aside from the damaged coastline, the hurricane has also affected rural counties in the north. More than 80 percent of customers in Jackson County along the Georgia and Alabama borders were left without power for an entire week after the deadly storm, Daily Mail reports.