Devastation in Florida, flooding elsewhere — WHAT'S HAPPENING

Rodiano Bonacci
Октября 13, 2018

Authorities haven't seen the mass casualties they once feared from Hurricane Michael, but they expect the death toll to rise as search-and-rescue teams make their way through Florida neighborhoods smashed to pieces. He gave no further details.

Brock Long, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Mexico Beach was "ground zero" for damage.

About 32km south of Mexico Beach, floodwaters were more than 2.1 metres deep near Apalachicola, a town of about 2,300 residents, hurricane centre chief Ken Graham said. "We do not have a count, but we are working to identify them". He told The Associated Press that searchers found "individuals who are deceased" among the devastation in Mexico Beach and surrounding Bay County.

Utility companies said more than 1 million homes and businesses were without power from Florida to Virginia early Friday. The only way to reach some people stranded by the storm was from the air.

"It wasn't going to get this high, realistically".

Some of the most severe impacts were felt in Virginia, where authorities said five people had died - four of whom drowned. Whether any of them got out at some point was unclear.

Governor Scott said the US Coast Guard carried out 10 missions overnight, saving at least 27 people. Roads were impassable and canals were choked with debris.

"I didn't recognize nothing".

FEMA's Long urged communities such as Mexico Beach, where many homes were obliterated by 12 to 14 feet (3.7 to 4.3 meters) of storm surge, to rebuild to withstand future storms. "Thank God we're not seeing that as a critical need", Harris said.

President Donald Trump pledged to help storm victims.

"We are with you!" he tweeted.

As it came ashore, Michael was just shy of a Category 5 - defined as a storm packing top sustained wind speeds of 157 miles per hour or above. Among the dead is an 11-year-old Georgia girl, officials said.

"Anytime you have a significant storm surge event, roadways and bridges are greatly impacted and you have to survey those before you move power crews in", he said. "We will not rest or waver until the job is done and the recovery is complete".

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said he expects the U.S. death count to climb Friday and Saturday as searchers sift through debris. The storm hit the Florida Panhandle and southwest Georgia hard, taking the lives of at least two people.

"So many lives have been changed forever", he said.

It was a powerful explosion of nature, one of the most powerful hurricanes on record. The elementary school, the flight line, the marina, the runways - all were devastated.

"I will not recall you and your families until we can guarantee your safety". He expected it to take several days before crews could even get to work on bringing Floridians out of the dark due to the enormous cleanup that needs to take place. "Be careful with all the chainsaws ... and don't touch downed power lines".

With winds surging to 155 miles per hour (250 kph), Michael wreaked havoc on the Florida Panhandle, leaving a devastating trail of destruction along the Gulf coast before it was downgraded to a tropical storm in the evening as it moved further inland.

"I have had employees going to the communities where our kids live, going door to door and checking", Principal Britt Smith said by phone.

Officials estimate that it could take days or even weeks to restore power in some areas.

Large restoration efforts narrowed traffic down to a single lane on some major streets, such as Thomasville Road, but the inconveniences didn't seem to bother residents Terry and Katia Coonan. "If it's to keep people warm, we'll keep people warm".

Apalachicola, with 2,300 residents, was also badly affected, the mayor reporting that downed cables were making it hard to get through the town.

A number of roads were still blocked off.

Phone service to the most damaged areas was down, leaving survivors no way to contact anxious relatives.

Brad Rippey, a meteorologist for the United States agriculture department, said Michael severely damaged cotton, timber, pecan and peanut crops, causing estimated liabilities as high as $1.9bn and affecting up to 3.7m crop acres (1.5m hectares).

He said the goal is to have all streets open by the end of the day.

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