Death toll in Hurricane Michael continues to rise

Oct 13, 2018, 00:41
Death toll in Hurricane Michael continues to rise

A day after the supercharged storm crashed ashore amid white sand beaches, fishing towns and military bases, Michael was no longer a Category 4 monster packing 155mph winds. A little more and he would have reached the most destructive of the 5th category, which is called catastrophic.

"When the water came in, houses started floating in front of our home", he said.

Mr Scott is also keen to avoid problems caused by Hurricane Irma just over a year ago when a lack of workers left many local shelters under-staffed.

Michael blew ashore near the small Florida Panhandle town of Mexico Beach on Wednesday afternoon as one of the most powerful storms in us history, with winds of up to 155 miles per hour (250 km per hour).

Tropical Storm Michael continues to weaken as it over eastern Georgia as it makes its way toward the Carolinas.

Warnings have also been been expanded to the United States east coast, from Fernandina Beach - just north of Jacksonville - to SC, as forecasters fear the storm will spread rapidly as it moves inland. High winds toppled trees and power lines, leaving hundreds of thousands without power.

A month after Hurricane Florence's epic deluge, SC officials are more concerned about tornadoes than flooding from Michael. Similar scenes played out in parts of Virginia as the storm raced seaward.

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More than 700,000 homes and businesses were without power in Florida, Alabama and Georgia early Thursday.

The coastal towns of Panama City and Mexico Beach bore the brunt of the damage from the category four storm, which at one point reached speeds of 155mph.

Roofs had been lifted from houses while others were split open by fallen trees.

The hurricane damaged hospitals and nursing homes in Panama City, and officials worked to evacuate hundreds of patients. He added: "So many lives have been changed forever".

"This morning, Florida's Gulf Coast and Panhandle and the Big Bend are waking up to unimaginable destruction", Gov. Rick Scott told The Associated Press.

An insurance company that produces models for catastrophes estimated the damage at $8 billion. Two people were reported dead due to the storm as of Thursday morning: A man in Florida was killed when a tree fell on top of his house, and an 11-year-old child was killed in Georgia when debris fell on a home. It doesn't include losses covered by the National Flood Insurance Program.

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In North Carolina's mountains, motorists had to be rescued from cars trapped by high water.

Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith near the vulnerable coast said his deputies had gone door to door in some places urging people to evacuate.

Storm warnings have been issued across most of the Gulf Coast, from Tampa to much of the Panhandle.

Fast and furious Hurricane Michael barrelled toward the Florida Panhandle late Tuesday night with 125 miles per hour winds and a potentially catastrophic storm surge of 13 feet, giving tens of thousands of people precious little time to board up and get out.

Nine people had to be rescued by helicopter from a bathroom of a home in hard-hit Panama City after their roof collapsed, Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronald Hodges said.

Bay County officials said 56 people chose to stay in their homes in Mexico Beach. "That's probably ground zero". But the fate of many residents was unknown.

Mishelle McPherson and her ex-husband searched for the elderly mother of a friend. "If the house and the cars are destroyed they can be replaced, but my niece needs her dad - and as much as I sometimes can't stand him, I would do anything to just know he's OK".

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