Hurricane Michael kills 17 in United States, death toll expected to rise

Hurricane Michael kills 17 in United States, death toll expected to rise

Hurricane Michael kills 17 in United States, death toll expected to rise

Hurricane Michael is no more.

Homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael are shown in this aerial photo Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in Mexico Beach, Florida.

Search and rescue teams combed through shattered U.S. communities on Thursday looking for victims of Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 monster storm which carved out a swathe of destruction in the Florida Panhandle, killing at least six in three states.

Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban, leader of a search-and-rescue unit that went into the flattened town, said: "We have one confirmed deceased and are working to determine if there are others". He said it was unclear if the man lived alone or with a family.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said the storm had caused "unbelievable devastation" and the priority for the moment was looking for survivors among residents who failed to heed orders to evacuate.

Nola reports that Hurricane Michael's winds are the fourth strongest from a storm making landfall in the United States, behind 1992's Andrew, 1969's Camille, and 1935's "Labor Day Hurricane".

Rescuers are picking their way through devastated areas of north-west Florida, in the United States (US), amid fears that the death toll from Hurricane Michael will rise.

However, Alan Harris, Seminole County Emergency Management Director, told the state Emergency Operations Center during its 8:30 a.m. briefing that so far, the state is standing down from setting up a temporary mortuary, a sign that mass casualties, at least for now, have not been found. Some of them successfully rode out the storm.

In Hanover County, a firefighter died and four others were injured, including three seriously, after a tractor trailer crashed into them as they tried to help with another crash involving two vehicles along Interstate 295 outside Mechanicsville, Va.

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. But with cellphone service out across vast swaths of the Florida Panhandle, officials said it is possible that some of those unaccounted for are safe and just haven't been able to contact friends or family.

Across the ravaged region, officials set up distribution centres to hand out food and water to victims.

A psychiatric hospital in Florida is isolated after downed trees blocked roads around Chattahoochee, and a tree caused a water line to break. This compilation highlights the power of the storm and what residents face in the weeks ahead.

"I didn't recognise nothing". "I don't know what I'm going to do", he said.

Linda Burton returned to Parker, a town of about 4,300 northwest of Mexico Beach, from a storm haven in Alabama to find her motor home destroyed by falling trees.

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Department of Defense helicopter teams stepped in to conduct daring night time rescues of some people needing emergency evacuation.

"We didn't have anything", Corley said.

Elsewhere, Donald Trump announced plans to visit Florida and Georgia early next week.

"We are with you!" he tweeted.

Shell-shocked survivors who barely escaped with their lives told of terrifying winds, surging floodwaters and homes cracking apart.

"Everything is time consuming", said Capt. Ignatius Carroll, of the South Florida Urban Search and Rescue task force. Some residents stayed to meet it. Homes were pushed off their foundations and neighborhoods became submerged.

"We are not completely done".

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

Mr. Long said he worries about "hurricane amnesia" and called for rebuilding to be done "in a resilient fashion".

"When state and local officials tell you to get out, dang it, do it. Get out", he said.

Numerous beach's residents followed evacuation orders.

The hurricane's eyewall passed directly overhead, severely damaging almost every building and leaving many a complete loss.

"I will not recall you and your families until we can guarantee your safety".

Long said many Florida buildings were not built to withstand a storm above the strength of a Category 3 hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

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