Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Hurricane Michael's death toll rises to 6

Michael looks likely to provide extra moisture to an incoming fall system late this week Michael looks likely to provide extra moisture to an incoming fall system late this week
Frank Williams | 12 October, 2018, 16:29

The task ahead: finding and hopefully safely accounting for all those who stayed behind.

It was the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S.in almost 50 years and at least one death was reported during its passage.

"It is a monstrous storm and the forecast (keeps) getting more unsafe", Florida Governor Rick Scott said. "So many lives have been changed forever".

The full extent of Michael's fury was only slowly becoming clear, with some of the hardest-hit areas difficult to reach with roads blocked by debris or water. An 80-mile stretch of Interstate 10, the main east-west route along the Panhandle, was closed because of debris.

Hurricane Michael, which has blossomed from a tropical storm off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula into a mighty threat to Florida and beyond, roared to Category 4 status Wednesday.

Entire blocks of homes near the beach were washed away, leaving nothing but concrete slabs in the sand. Rows and rows of other homes were rendered piles of splintered lumber.

Patterson estimated 1,000 homes were completely or partially destroyed in his town of 3,500 people.

Hurricane Michael has gained strength during its approach toward Florida's Gulf Shore and is expected to make landfall Wednesday afternoon. It developed into a hurricane on Monday, and by today, more than 140,000 people were under mandatory evacuation orders.

USA president Donald Trump approved a federal pre-landfall emergency declaration authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to "coordinate all disaster relief efforts" and to "identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency".

Mishelle McPherson climbs over rubble as she searches for her friend in Mexico Beach, Fla. "It was so scary you'd poo yourself", said retiree Tom Garcia, 60, who was trapped inside his Mexico Beach home as water poured in to waist height. "Do you think it would have floated away?"

"The combination of a risky storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline". "All of my furniture was floating", she said.

"When it came to this hurricane, it was an overachiever", he said. "It was terrible, and now there's just nothing left".

"But you know what...it's just stuff, it's just stuff", she told her husband as they walked through their home.

Hurricane Michael by the numbers: Over 900000 homes, businesses without power
Many flights were canceled in the hurricane zone, and Amtrak changed some train schedules to protect passengers and employees. Levy County has closed its schools through Thursday; Florida State University, in Tallahassee, has closed as well.

"The only thing we can say about Michael with certainty is that it was so fast".

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

"I know people are worn out from Florence, but don't let this storm catch you with your guard down", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said, adding, "A number of homes have rooftop tarps that could be damaged or blown away with this wind". Nine people had to be rescued by helicopter from a bathroom of a home in hard-hit Panama City after their roof collapsed, Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronald Hodges said.

A home moved off its foundation and deposited into a hotel along Highway 98 in Mexico Beach.

Numerous injured in Florida were taken to hard-hit Panama City, 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Mexico Beach. Downed power lines and twisted street signs lay all around.

At the city's Jinks Middle School, the storm peeled back part of the gym roof and tore off a wall. Aluminum siding was shredded and homes were split by fallen trees.

Hundreds of cars had broken windows. Pine trees were stripped and snapped off about 20 feet (7 meters) high.

Scarcely 72 hours after its formation, this late-season tropical system has achieved major hurricane status as it bears down on the coast of Florida.

In the video, a member of the Coast Guard is lowered down to the ground.

Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center treated some people but the hospital evacuated 130 patients as it was dealing with its own hurricane effects.

Michael "didnt seem to care", about wind shear, said Klotzbach, a research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University.

A man outside Tallahassee, Florida, was killed by a falling tree was the first of "4 storm-related fatalities" announced by the Gadsden County Sheriff's office. She was safe until a carport came crashing through the roof.

Another man was killed in Iredell County, North Carolina, north of Charlotte, when a tree fell on his vehicle, said Cooper, who blamed the incident on the storm.

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