Hurricane Michael Death Toll Rises as Rescuers Search for Survivors

Hurricane Michael update: at least 13 killed, including firefighter as crews search for survivors

An entire neighborhood in Mexico Beach, Florida was wiped out by Hurricane Michael.

After Michael passed, video drones took the skies over Panama City revealing the extent of the damage. According to the latest report by CNN, the death toll now stands at 17. While most residents fled ahead of the storm's arrival, others stayed to face the hurricane. Zahralban said searchers were trying to determine if that person had been alone or was part of a family.

Bay County took a brutal blow from Hurricane Michael - especially the town of Mexico Beach, which was almost leveled by the storm's force.

Michael crashed ashore near 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 kph).

The death toll attributed to Hurricane Michael grew Friday to at least 13 people across four states, as officials ramped up recovery operations. Some of them successfully rode out the storm. It's unclear how many of them are missing.

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) said about 800 of its customers were still without power on Saturday morning, with most outages remaining in Essex, King and Queen, and King William counties, where the storm damage was most severe. 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.

Authorities have set up distribution centers to dole out food and water to victims.

"I didn't recognize nothing".

"We're getting our stuff and we're going", said Jeff Pearsey, 48.

While we might not get more storms in a warmer climate, most studies show storms will get stronger and produce more rain.

"Hopefully they (emergency crews) will be here soon, I'm not going anywhere until they bring him out", she said.

Elsewhere, President Donald Trump announced plans to visit Florida and hard-hit Georgia early next week but didn't say what day he would arrive.

"We are with you!" he tweeted.

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Shell-shocked survivors who barely escaped with their lives told of terrifying winds, surging floodwaters and homes cracking like eggs.

"There's a pile", McPherson said as they searched for signs of life. "Give it passion", De Blasio said, encouraging Gillum campaign volunteers to knock on doors and convince people to vote.

Gov. Rick Scott said state officials still "do not know enough" about the fate of those who stayed behind in the region.

"We are not completely done".

"Now we're getting residents who are still here who are suffering injuries", Carroll said.

FEMA Administrator William "Brock" Long said he believed that the toll would increase, particularly as first responders got into places like Mexico Beach.

Insurance analyst Fitch Ratings said the Florida companies can withstand storms like Michael that hit sparsely populated areas of the state, but would struggle if a major storm hit Miami or another big city.

On the Panhandle, Tyndall Air Force Base "took a beating", so much so that Col. Brian Laidlaw told the 3,600 men and women stationed on the base not to come back.

Numerous 600 families who live there followed orders to pack what they could in a single suitcase as they were evacuated.

The hurricane's eyewall passed directly overhead, severely damaging almost every building and leaving many a complete loss.

"Public safety agencies are only taking highest priority calls right now...heart attacks, you know, major trauma...", he added.

The rebuilding effort is expected to take a long time.

More roads were passable along the storm-ravaged coast as crews cleared downed trees and power lines, but traffic lights remained out and lines at the few gas stations that were open were five to six cars deep.


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