Hurricane Michael Death Toll at 18 and Climbing in Virginia, Florida

Cheryl Sanders
October 14, 2018

"Our thoughts turn again towards the southeastern United States, as towns and cities in northwest Florida have suffered large-scale, catastrophic damage at the hands of Hurricane Michael", they said.

"I expect the fatality count to rise as we get through the debris", Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said on Friday.

"I hope we don't see that climb dramatically, but. we still haven't gotten into some of the hardest-hit areas", he said.

David Prevatt, an associate professor of civil and coastal engineering at the University of Florida, said in an email Thursday that drone footage of the devastation in Mexico Beach showed structural damage to roofs and exterior walls, and damaged rafters and trusses, "indicating the strength of the wind that caused those failures".

Taylor Fontenot, founder of 50 Star SAR, a volunteer search and rescue organisation, said he will alert authorities when he finds corpses with his group's cadaver dog.

Florida Panhandle officials are trying to figure out how to resume classes after Hurricane Michael damaged or destroyed many schools last week.

A sign for a damaged church sits among the debris from Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Fla., on October 14, 2018.

Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban, leader of a search-and-rescue unit that went into the flattened town, said: "There are individuals who are deceased".

After evacuating hundreds of patients, hospitals heavily damaged during Michael are still finding ways to help those in need.

Phone service to the most damaged areas was down, leaving survivors no way to contact anxious relatives. About 40 Army officers were sent to clear roads near the small beach town of Alligator Point.

Montgomery recalled passing a line of collapsed homes and seeing a woman sitting on a folding chair, smiling and waving even though her entire house had vanished.

"We lost our dock".

"Just the sheer scope", Tezel said. "All these electrical poles and water lines are busted".

"To just sort of check out various neighborhoods, to try to ensure that we're not missing anybody", Gillum said.

"Basically what's happened is that people who are closer to where the water was and the water surge, some of these homes are completely gone and all that is left is the foundation", said Stephanie Palmer, team manager of Florida Task Force 2". So he stashed them in a closet before heading to his daughter's new two-story home.

Back in Mexico Beach, residents were picking up the pieces.

So far, eight people have been reported dead in Florida, five in Virginia, three in North Carolina and one person was killed in Georgia.

The deaths in Virginia include four people who drowned in separate incidents, said Mr. Northam.

Officials said more than 400,000 homes and businesses were without electricity in Florida and 20,000 utility workers had been deployed to restore power.

"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. He said that Tyndall is in a strategic location for its training missions.

Lavonia Fortner helps her father-in-law, John E. Fortner, search for memorabilia his wife collected, in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Fla., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. Authorities said that there is little doubt that number will rise further.

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