Michael’s aftermath makes life difficult in Marianna

Devin Jones, resident of Marianna subdivision. 
Photo submitted by Samuel Barnes

MARIANNA – The renovation of a subdivision in Marianna in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael is forcing tenants to relocate.

Devin Jones is a former resident of Pebble Hill Estate here. Jones is one of 20 residents who must evacuate their water-damaged homes. Jones received a notice from his landlord on Nov. 2, telling him his home had received major water damage. He was told he would have to be moved out by Nov. 8 for the house to be repaired.

Residents asked to leave for renovation were given an alternative. They could relocate and move back after the renovation was over, or they could get out of their lease and move somewhere else.  

Jones decided to move in with his uncle James in Malone.

“I was absolutely shocked when my landlord sent that letter about the damage the house received from the hurricane. I have lived there for nine years, and for me to just pick up and leave, it still floors me,” said Jones.

Jones is employed at Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee, and he had to take time off so he could meet the move-out deadline.

After being told he would have to leave for renovation, Jones rented a U-Haul truck and began moving his belongings out of the house. Since the Walmart in Marianna was still under repair, Jones asked his brother who lived an hour away in Tallahassee to gather cardboard boxes from the stores there.

“When my brother gave me the news about his house, I was shocked. It was late when he called, and he wanted to know if I could gather some boxes for him. When I heard about the landlord basically kicking him out, I got dressed, and I went to Walmart to see if they had any boxes.  I was happy to find out that they had some available,” said Donte Jones, Jones’ brother.

With the boxes gathered, Dante came to assist him in moving his furniture. Jones also had the assistance of a friend. They recall the moving process being long and tedious, but with their group effort, they were able to get Jones’ possessions moved to his uncle’s shed in nearby Malone.

“It wasn’t an easy job, but friends respond when another friend is in trouble. It sucks that he must move. We all enjoyed this house and will miss it very much,” said Tony Sullivan, Jones’ friend.

Jones has decided not to move back to Pebble Hill. He now lives with his uncle in Malone, and commutes to work while trying to figure out his next place to live.