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Officials want to close tent city set up after hurricane

Hurricane Michael flattens Mexico Beach. (LSM)

Officials want to shut down a tent city where hundreds of people have stayed since Hurricane Michael struck Florida's Panhandle in October.

Shawn York of the United Methodist Committee on Relief says just a few local residents displaced by the hurricane have stayed in the Panama City encampment recently.

York tells The News Herald that most of the current inhabitants are either chronically homeless or people who came to the Panhandle after the storm to find work.

Mayor Greg Brudnicki says the tent city outside Forest Park United Methodist Church poses health risks because it lacks sanitation facilities. He said authorities have responded to the camp over two dozen times in the past month because of calls about fighting, domestic violence and attempted robbery.

Camp organizer Jim Reno says many inhabitants don't have anywhere else to go.

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