Hurricane Michael Death Toll May Rise as Rescue Efforts Continue

  • Hurricane Michael Death Toll May Rise as Rescue Efforts Continue

Hurricane Michael Death Toll May Rise as Rescue Efforts Continue

So far, authorities say only one person was killed in Mexico Beach, but the death toll from Hurricane Michael's path is at 18 from Florida to Virginia and authorities are still searching for about 30 people in the Panhandle.

Since 2001, structures statewide must be built to withstand winds of 111 miles per hour and up; the Miami area is considered a "high velocity hurricane zone" with much higher standards, requiring many structures to withstand hurricane winds in excess of 170 miles per hour. In total, four correctional facilities are now closed until "further damage assessment", the department said.

Over the weekend, he made a disaster declaration for six Georgia counties.

Numerous missing could be out of phone contact, or staying someplace loved ones didn't know about, authorities cautioned.

Gulf Power officials announced Sunday that they expect to have power restored to 95 percent of those hit by Hurricane Michael by October 24 - or two weeks after the storm hit, leaving a trail of ruins across the region.

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema), Brock Long, warned that the death toll could rise.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said Saturday that MRE meals and water had been set on the road toward the areas hardest hit.

With the majority of its 26,000 students displaced and many schools deemed not safe because of the damage, officials are discussing alternative ways to get students back to the classroom and to provide psychological aid for them.

"We hope that we'll find more [survivors], but it's more and more doubtful". The town was almost wiped off the map by the powerful storm.

This aerial photo shows debris and destruction in Mexico Beach, Fla., after Hurricane Michael went through the area on Wednesday. The Edison Electric Institute, a utility trade group, warned that parts of the panhandle will need a total power grid rebuild. Helicopters are also airdropping food and water to remote areas.

On Monday, President Trump plans to visit Florida and Georgia and see the recovery effort for himself.

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NOAAA satellite image of Mexico Beach Florida shows Sand Palace still standing

"We're not able to gain access to all areas at this point in time", he said.

Numerous rescue efforts are now focused on Mexico Beach, where canine teams are combing through mangled structures and piles of rubble looking for survivors.

Amid the devastation caused by hurricane Michael, rescue operations in the southeastern United States have focused on Mexico Beach and Panama City, two Florida towns that were almost flattened and that could raise the death toll from the storm, which has taken at least 17 lives.

"We don't have a building; from my understanding, the water surge moved it off its foundation", Mexico Beach Police Chief Anthony Kelly told ABC.

The Sheriff's Office also tweeted that two deputies helped rescue an elderly woman who was trapped in her home.

Mr. Kelly didn't have phone service for several days and received a working phone only Sunday.

While most residents fled ahead of the storm's arrival, others stayed to face the hurricane. What was once a house had traveled an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 feet, said Stephanie Palmer, a search-team leader with the South Florida task force.

Bill Herrle, who owned a house near the shoreline in Mexico Beach until it was destroyed by the storm, said he wasn't sure it made a difference when the homes there were built.

In the aftermath of last year's unprecedented Atlantic hurricane season-which inflicted catastrophic damage on Puerto Rico, Texas, Central America, and the Caribbean-the Trump White House came under fire for its slow and measly response. The small, black search dog barked, a possible sign it found something.

Sometimes the news is bad: Ms. Palmer's team deployed to the Carolinas when Hurricane Florence struck last month, and they recovered the body of a baby swept from a mother's arms by floodwaters, she said.

As of Sunday, the storm had killed almost 20 people in four states, while dozens more remained missing in Florida Panhandle communities, Reuters reported. "I'm not going anywhere until they bring him out", she said.