Hurricane Michael SHARK warning as 160mph winds ‘sending killer beasts’ to Florida

Pablo Tucker
October 13, 2018

Further details were not immediately available.

The death toll from hurricane Michael, one of the most powerful storms to make landfall in the United States 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.

Currently, more than 500,000 people are without electricity in Florida, Alabama and Georgia, emergency services say.

Meanwhile, thousands of National Guard troops, law enforcement officers and rescue teams still had much to do in the hardest hit area: Florida's Panhandle.

Describing Michael as a "monstrous storm" that has the potential to be devastating to the Florida Panhandle, Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Monday declared a state of emergency in 35 counties ahead of the landfall.

Bay County officials said 56 people chose to stay in their homes in Mexico Beach.

Then, as Michael blew through Virginia as a tropical storm, authorities said five people there were killed, including four who drowned and a firefighter whose truck was struck by a tractor-trailer as he responded to an accident in heavy storm conditions.

Brock Long, an administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said the number of deaths was expected to rise as rescue teams combed through Mexico Beach, Port St Joe and Panama City.

Mcdonald's signage stands damaged from Hurricane Michael in Panama City Beach, Florida, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.

FEMA crews have been using bulldozers and other heavy equipment to push a path through debris so rescuers can sift the rubble using specially trained search dogs.

"Dawn in Panama City, Florida, revealed a sprawling mess of nearly unimaginable devastation wrought by the third-most powerful hurricane in recorded history to lash the US mainland", as Fox News reported. "Thank God we're not seeing that as a critical need", Harris said.

She said local television stations were knocked off the air for two days, and authorities were relying on the radio station of the Gulf Coast State College to broadcast public service bulletins.

Miami fire chief Joseph Zahralban, leader of a search-and-rescue unit in the 1,000-strong community, said: "We have one confirmed deceased and are working to determine if there are others". The rest of Mexico Beach did not fare as well, and most of the beachfront homes, restaurants and stores were obliterated by the storm.

According to the National Hurricane Center, it could strengthen into a major Category 3 hurricane with winds topping 111 miles per hour before it reaches Florida's Gulf Coast on Wednesday.

More than 940,000 homes and businesses on the US East Coast were without power on Friday and it could be weeks before power is restored to the most damaged parts of Florida.

"I don't think it will ever be the same", said husband Danny Sinclair, 64, who is semi-retired.

"We were going to establish a mortuary location. It was bad, and now there's just nothing left".

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