17 dead, power outages affect 1.5 mil. after Hurricane Michael

Mindy Sparks
October 13, 2018

"But it's different when you walk down and see this, and your emotions run away". A FEMA search and rescue response team has been deployed from Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, to Mexico Beach. It's unclear how many of them are missing.

So far, counties along the affected northwest Florida coast have reported no deaths related to the storm.

Two people, including a child, were killed by falling debris.

Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long said he expected to see the death toll rise.

Bowen said rescuers' top priority Friday is a "meticulous" search process, "everything from looking for bodies to looking for injured persons".

A flash flood watch was in effect for much of the Tri-State through 6 a.m. Friday.

FEMA crews also used drone aircraft and global positioning satellites in their search.

The Florida National Guard has deployed 3,500 members for search-and-rescue and humanitarian aid, with assistance from National Guard units from as far away as NY and Kansas.

The storm, which has been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, was the strongest on record to hit the Florida Panhandle and the third most powerful to strike the US mainland. It pushed a wall of seawater inland and caused widespread flooding.

The storm made landfall near Mexico Beach, with wind speeds reaching 155 miles per hour (249 kph) - just shy of a Category 5 hurricane.

Michael Williams, 70, looks for help from passing motorists as downed trees prevent him from driving out of his damaged home in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael with his family in Springfield, Fla., on Thursday. U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 1st Class Colin Hunt/Handout via REUTERS.

"Luckily we did not get a surge", Tenbrunson said of his home.

"Things, we can replace", Farabaugh said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront". "We're doing what we can with the minimal media that we have".

Sarah loved to perform, her father said.

"I have had employees going to the communities where our kids live, going door to door and checking", Principal Britt Smith said by phone. "If we're going to rebuild, do it right".

The storm is rumbling into SC, while also bringing strong winds and heavy rains to North Carolina and Virginia amid a tornado threat, many news outlets reported.

Florida officials said more than 400,000 homes and businesses were without electricity in Florida and Governor Scott said almost 20,000 utility workers had been deployed to restore power.

The area is home to a number of rural communities that are among the poorest in the state.

Department of Defense helicopter teams stepped in to conduct daring night time rescues of some people needing emergency evacuation. "Not all of that commercialism", said Dottie Sinclair, 57, a nurse, adding a Subway fast-food restaurant was the only commercial chain.

Megan McCall says her brother Jeff and his family were riding out the storm in the Panhandle. "People will just pack up and leave".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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