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Just after Hurricane Michael ravaged Florida, Lorrainda Smith gave birth to her son.
She and her husband, Wilmer Capps, could not remain in their storm-damaged home to find shelter, full of soggy furniture, heat, and bugs.
Hospital - Smith - Birth - Oct - Family
After the hospital in which Smith gave birth discharged her on Oct 13, the family was unable to find a hotel room nearby — and amidst fear of safety and sanitation problems at a shelter suggested by FEMA, the family stayed in the Walmart parking lot.
On Tuesday night, a security guard helped them secure a room in nearby Panama City Beach with air conditioning, water and power. The baby, Luke, and his mom are healthy.
PANAMA - CITY - Fla - AP - Home
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — Their home full of soggy furniture and mosquitoes, Wilmer Capps was desperate to find shelter for his wife and their son Luke, born just three days after Hurricane Michael ravaged the Florida Panhandle.
So Capps, wife Lorrainda Smith and little Luke settled in for the longest of nights in the best spot they could find: The parking lot of a Walmart store shut down by the storm.
Starry - Night - Mother - Bed - Family
On a starry night, mother sat in the bed of the family's pickup truck; her child sat in a car seat beside her. Dad sat in the dark and pondered how it could be that his son's first night out of a hospital could be spent outside a big-box retailer because of a lack of help.
"It really upset me, man, because I've always been the type of person who would help anyone," Capps said in an interview with The Associated Press, which found the family outside the store Monday night. An AP photographer accompanied them on a journey from the lot to a hospital and met them again at a hotel where donors later provided them a room.
Luke is healthy and so...
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