Searchers find bodies in hurricane-stricken Florida town

Floridians scurried to prepare after Gov. Rick Scott extended a state of emergency to 35 counties and activated 1,250 National Guardsmen for hurricane duty

Floridians scurried to prepare after Gov. Rick Scott extended a state of emergency to 35 counties and activated 1,250 National Guardsmen for hurricane duty

Hurricane Michael began showing signs that it could severely affect Southern states last weekend.

The death toll from hurricane Michael, one of the most powerful storms to make landfall in the USA mainland, rose to 11 on Friday, with authorities warning that the number of dead could rise as emergency workers ventured more deeply into the areas devastated by the storm.

Michael charged ashore on Wednesday near the small Florida Panhandle town of Mexico Beach as one of the most powerful storms in United States history, with top sustained winds of 155 miles per hour (250km per hour).

"It's like a bomb went off", Scott said as he toured the town of 1,000 people on the Gulf of Mexico.

"This is a war zone".

"Mexico Beach needs your prayers", Albrecht said of the town of about 1,200 people.

Catholic Charities USA is a member of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, and is a "trusted source" by the Federal Emergency Management Administration, where people can make contributions.

"The only thing we can say about Michael with certainty is that it was so fast". Plenty of water. I made sure we've got clean clothes.

Now their home is full of mud and everywhere they look there is utter devastation in their Florida Panhandle community, with roofs lifted off of buildings and pine trees snapped in 155 miles per hour winds. "This storm can kill you".

It developed into a hurricane on Monday, and by Tuesday, more than 180,000 people were already under mandatory evacuation orders.

"Don't think you can ride this out if you're in a low lying area". But with cellphone service out across vast swaths of the Florida Panhandle, officials said it is possible that some of those unaccounted for are safe and just haven't been able to contact friends or family.

The core of the storm was expected to crash ashore around midday Wednesday near Panama City Beach, along a lightly populated stretch of fishing villages and white-sand spring-break beaches. "I was picking three bale cotton (this week); today it is gone", cotton farmer and state Rep. Clay Pirkle said. "For me the cotton crop is as bad as it gets".

The death toll across the South stood at 13, not counting any victims in Mexico Beach.

"I spent my life savings and retirement to stay here so I can't sell it now", Tenbrunson said.

"It's OK if you want to live on the coast or on top of a mountain that sees wildfires or whatever, but you have to build to a higher standard", he said.

Before the latest victims were reported, authorities had recorded four deaths in Florida's Gadsden County, one in Georgia and one in North Carolina.

Another man was killed in Iredell County, North Carolina, north of Charlotte, when a tree fell on his vehicle, said Cooper, who blamed the incident on the storm.

Over 900,000 homes and businesses in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas were without power.

President Donald Trump announced plans to visit Florida and hard-hit Georgia early next week but did not say what day he would arrive.

The National Hurricane Center has issued its final advisory on Michael, now a post-tropical cyclone speeding off over the Atlantic Ocean.

Thousands fled the Florida coastline before Michael hit.

"I will not recall you and your families until we can guarantee your safety".

The storm is strengthening as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico, and the hurricane is predicted to be a major storm when it hits the Florida panhandle on Wednesday.

Tyndall Air Force Base, home to the F-22 stealth fighter, suffered extensive damage, according to aerial photos of the coastal facility.

Boston-based Karen Clark & Company, an insurance company that produces models for catastrophes is estimating Hurricane Michael caused about $8billion in insured losses.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.