'It's hell on wheels': Horseshoe Beach community torn to shreds during Hurricane Idalia

Hurricane Idalia laid Horseshoe Beach to waste. 

The small town in Dixie County has seen hurricanes before. In 1993, what was supposed to be the storm of the century rolled through. 

Herman Neeley, who’s lived in Horseshoe Beach for 78 years, says that storm could never compare to Idalia.

Neeley goes by the nickname Pork Chop.


"When I was a boy, about this high, and I was short and fat," he explained.

During Hurricane Idalia, the water levels in Pork Chop’s house rose higher than he would have stood when he first earned that nickname.

"Roughly four and a half feet of water in the house," he measured.

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The damage on the inside of the house is hard to wrap your head around. Furniture was flipped over, a freezer had been toppled. Nothing was in its right place.

That house serves as a microcosm of the entire town Horseshoe Beach, where homes blew over like stacks of cards, strewing debris all over the city.

"It’s hell on wheels," Neeley said. "It’s the worst. Sure is."

The Red Cross says it’s still building up its presence in the area. 

They’re doling out supplies meant to tide people over for a few days. Other volunteer agencies have been handing out hot meals.

And the community has been coming together, offering help to neighbors in whatever form is most needed. The hope there is astounding, and the plan is to rebuild. But, Neeley notes,

"It’s going to be a slow process."