While the news media increasingly focuses their coverage on the upcoming midterm elections, much of the Southeast United States is still recovering from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Michael almost one month ago. Amidst the wreckage, a group of Jeep enthusiasts has been putting their vehicles to work, helping to clear roads, deliver necessities, and even flip over houses that were tossed by the immense storm.
Jalopnik picked up on the story, which centers around the Clifton family of Panama City, located on the Florida panhandle. The Clifton's home was completed turned over by Michael's 150 mile per hour winds, and the family was left with little hope for a solution when they returned home after evacuating to Mississippi. Photos of their property show an immense pile of what looks like debris, but is in fact a mobile home that is almost completely upside-down.
The Cliftons believed it could be months and months before the wreckage might be cleared away, but also recognized that if the motor home were right-side up, it would be much easier to haul. Into the picture steps the Bay Area Jeep Association (or BAJA), who discovered the Cliftons' dilemma and hatched with a radical plan to come to some neighborly aid.
BAJA had been serving their community ever since Michael struck in early October, and even though many of the club's members had lost their own homes, as well, they'd set up a distribution warehouse for delivering essentials to the community, and many members had used the off-roading winches on their Jeeps to help clear debris from roads, driveways, and yards.
But the Cliftons' situation was another step up in complexity, and approximately 30 BAJA members showed up with the goal of flipping the house back over. As the video shows, it took about eight minutes, but the Jeeps—a mix of Wrangler and CJ models—appear to have made easy work of the process. While Dereck Clifton himself had contacted many private companies about getting the job done, with estimates coming in around $12,000 for the task, BAJA was able to jump to action and make a huge contribution to the family's recovery process.
Club president Johnathan Jones told Jalopnik, "We all put our efforts into helping the community right away...We believe [that] Jeep life is that you help each other, you have a value system..." The Cliftons have since removed the motorhome from their property, and could have a new house erected within a few weeks.