Hurricane Michael Death Toll Climbs to 16

13 October, 2018, 22:12 | Author: Sherry Houston
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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. "Houses where the gas was left on caught fire in Mexico Beach, threatening to burn down the entire neighborhood".

"When the water came in houses started floating", said the man identified as Scott. "The people of Florida rely on Governor Scott for accurate storm response and safety information - and a false ad suggesting Floridians should not listen to the Governor isn't just ill-timed, it's risky".

Search and rescue volunteers have located hundreds of people reported missing in the U.S. Southeast after Hurricane Michael tore through their Florida Panhandle communities, but the death toll of at least 18 was expected to rise. Damage to the hospital appeared to be limited to a water main break caused by an uprooted tree and some broken windows.

Early Friday morning, Michael was dropping rain along the Mid-Atlantic and New England coasts as it moves eastward over the ocean, with sustained winds that have strengthened to 65 miles per hour. Flash flooding also was reported in the big North Carolina cities of Charlotte and Raleigh. Similar scenes played out in parts of Virginia as the storm raced seawards.

More than 900,000 homes and businesses in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas are without power in the wake of Hurricane Michael.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Friday morning that the state has "half a million gallons of fuel being distributed daily at 40 fueling stations to support our utility crews as they work around the clock to restore power".

A Family Dollar Store that had the storefront ripped off is seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Millville.

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"It's total devastation - no power, no water, no communication", she said.

Many residents with destroyed or damaged homes counted themselves lucky to have survived. "Be careful with all the chainsaws ... and don't touch downed power lines". The wind shredded the roof of his single-story home.

He got through a window of his home on to the top of his vehicle outside when Morales saw two neighbors wading through the rushing surge. "From satellite and radar monitoring, to computer models of track and intensity, and to dissemination of warnings by the NWS, private forecasters, the media, and local and national emergency managers, many lives were saved". Police made two sweeps of the town Wednesday morning and recorded names of everyone who planned to stay, though officials said it is impossible to know who might have left during or immediately after the storm. While we've grown used to many "false alarms" in terms of precisely how bad approaching storms may be, Michael overperformed by a significant margin. The estimate doesn't include losses covered by the National Flood Insurance Program, which has about 60,000 policies in the hardest-hit Florida counties. It did not have a shelter open before Hurricane Michael, according to state data. The Sheriff's Office in Gadsden County, Fla., said on Thursday that the storm had killed four people there. An 11-year-old girl in Georgia died when Michael's winds picked up a carport and dropped it through the roof of her grandparents' home.

The toll is expected to rise further as search and rescue efforts continue. Unlike many storms, which form off the coast of Africa, Michael organized in the Caribbean, giving forecasters less time to track it before it made landfall.

Florida's disjointed property insurance system that relies nearly exclusively on small and midsize companies will take a multibillion dollar loss from Hurricane Michael, but has sufficient reserves and backups that providers should be able to pay claims without problems, analysts say.

For example, she says, food and water are critical, especially when grocery stores and food banks have been destroyed and drinking water systems damaged or contaminated - but crews with chainsaws and bulldozers need to go first to clear roads so the trucks with food and water can get through.

State officials say almost 300 people in Mexico Beach ignored mandatory evacuation orders, but it is unclear if they were able to get out at the last minute. The task ahead: finding and hopefully safely accounting for all those who stayed behind.

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