Two deaths blamed on Hurricane Michael

13 October, 2018, 01:20 | Author: Sam Montgomery
  • People look on at a damaged store after Hurricane Michael passed through

Carol Ralph walks through downed trees blocking her heavily damaged neighbourhood just after Hurricane Michael passed through in Panama City, Fla., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.

Based on its internal barometric pressure, Michael was the third most powerful hurricane to hit the US mainland, behind the unnamed Labour Day storm of 1935 and Camille in 1969.

State officials said Friday that search and rescue units spread across a vast region stretching from the sea to the Georgia border to look for survivors from the deadly storm.

"I've worked most of my adult life out of town..." A main electric utility in Virginia said more than 585,000 customers were affected. While search-and-rescue teams were having difficulty reaching some areas on Thursday, the extent of the damage is slowly becoming clear with the before and after images showing the severe destruction.

Video from a drone revealed some of the worst damage in Mexico Beach, where the hurricane crashed ashore Wednesday as a Category 4 monster with 155 miles per hour (250 kph) winds and a storm surge of 9 feet (2.7 meters).

Entire blocks of homes near the beach were obliterated, reduced to nothing but concrete slabs in the sand.

The town was under a mandatory evacuation order as the storm targeted the coast, but some people were determined to ride out the hurricane.

The US national guard has reached the town, dubbed "ground zero", and found 20 people who survived a direct hit from Michael. The woman lived in a small cinderblock house about 150 yards (meters) from the Gulf and thought she would be OK.

They said recovery teams "have found widespread catastrophic damage", including roof damage to nearly every home on the base. "You know, that's hard", she said, choking back tears.

At home in Cairo about 45 miles (70 kilometers) away, Sarah's father and stepmother, Roy and Amber Radney, kept in touch with her grandparents through frequent phone calls as the storm winds gusted around them. "You want to check on things, and begin the recovery process", Scott said.

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Bill Manning, a 63-year-old grocery clerk, fled his camper van in Panama City for safer quarters in a hotel only to see the electricity there go out.

Thousands of homes and businesses were blown apart as Michael cut its swath across the Florida Panhandle and into Georgia. As reported by The Weather Channel, the hurricane-turned-tropical-storm continues to travel up the East Coast with wind speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.

Michael is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 4 to 7 inches from northern SC, west-central to northwestern North Carolina, and into south-central to southeast Virginia, including the southern Delmarva Peninsula. There are power lines everywhere.

Medical Sacred Heart lost its windows and sustained damage to its roof and exterior walls.

"Kaboom! Like the world moved or something", Lewis said of the moment when the trees snapped while he sheltered inside.

Officials said the highest storm surge hit near Mexico Beach and nearby Port St. Joe, based on available observations and post-landfall models. When it landed, its legs crashed through the roof of a neighboring mobile home and hit the girl in the head. Homes were split open by fallen trees.

Damage in Panama City near where Michael came ashore Wednesday afternoon was so extensive that broken and uprooted trees and downed power lines lay almost everywhere.

The National Hurricane Center downgraded Michael to a tropical storm early Thursday, saying its maximum winds had dropped below the threshold for a hurricane.

"Anytime you have a significant storm surge event, roadways and bridges are greatly impacted and you have to survey those before you move power crews in", he said.

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