Rescuers find first body in town worst hit by Michael

Rescuers find first body in town worst hit by Michael”

They're surrounded now by devastation: fishing boats and cars tossed like toys, empty slabs where people hopefully escaped before houses exploded in 155 miles per hour (249 kph) winds and were washed away by the storm surge.

"Our biggest thing is the downed lines and the downed trees", said Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson.

But even as affected communities evaluate the damage left in the storm's wake, weather satellites continued to monitor Michael's progress.

More than 900,000 homes and businesses in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas have been left without power.

"We still haven't gotten into the hardest-hit areas", he said, adding with frustration: "Very few people live to tell what it's like to experience storm surge, and unfortunately in this country we seem to not learn the lesson". More than 380,000 homes and businesses were without power at the height of the storm.

David Blackston climbs a damaged stairway to check on his second-floor apartment in the aftermath of hurricane Michael in Callaway, Fla., on October 11, 2018. "I don't know what I'm going to do", he said. Though most homes were still standing, no property was left undamaged. Twisted street signs lay on the ground. Homes were split open by fallen trees.

Hundreds of residents were rescued on Thursday from cars, apartments and homes flooded by rushing water.

Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center treated some but the hospital evacuated 130 patients as it faced challenges running on generators after the storm knocked out power, ripped off part of its roof and smashed windows, according to a spokesman for the hospital's owner, HCA Healthcare Inc.

And unless we change the rate of greenhouse gas emissions, we should expect hurricanes to intensify more rapidly in the coming decades, the scientific research group Climate Central said.

"During a time that the State of Florida is bracing for Category 4 Hurricane Michael, the station has an obligation to protect the public and a false negative adverisement being aired about the current Governor during a State of Emergency diminishes the ability of the state's government to communicate emergency safety information to Florida residents and hurts the state as a whole", the letter from Steve Roberts, counsel to Rick Scott for Florida, states.

Boston-based insurance company Karen Clark & Company is estimating Hurricane Michael caused about $8 billion in insured losses. Those numbers are added to almost 345,000 accounts without power in Florida and 150,000 in Georgia.

The dead include at least eight people in Florida, five in Virginia, three in North Carolina and one in Georgia.

A 38-year-old motorist also was killed by a massive tree in Statesville, NC, and 11-year-old Sarah Radney of Georgia was killed when a metal carport struck her in the head as she hunkered down in her Seminole County home.

Debris and floodwater are also making some of the worst-hit areas hard to reach.

More than 375 000 people up and down the Gulf Coast were ordered or urged to clear out as Michael closed in.

The death toll attributed to Hurricane Michael grew Friday to at least 13 people across four states, as officials ramped up recovery operations.

Allender flipped the camera and showed his face, visibly upset as he said, "So we're real, two people". State officials said 285 people in Mexico Beach had refused to leave ahead of the hurricane despite a mandatory evacuation order.

Rescue teams were using sniffer dogs in Mexico Beach on Friday in a search for victims who may be buried under the rubble in the debris-strewn community.

So far, crews have rescued 34 and assisted more than 200 others. But the fate of many residents was unknown.

Mishelle McPherson and her ex-husband searched for the elderly mother of a friend. "Do you think it would have floated away?"

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