Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Florida Eyes Turn to Cleanup After Powerful Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael claims 1st victim as it leaves path of destruction in Florida AFP JOE RAEDLE
Theresa Hayes | 12 October, 2018, 21:59

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). Brandon Clement shot helicopter footage of the devastation left by the Category 4 storm on October 11.

Mexico Beach is on the west end of what's called Florida's Forgotten Coast, so named because it is not heavily developed like numerous state's other shoreline areas, with their lavish homes and high-rise condos and hotels.

State officials said 285 people in Mexico Beach had defied a mandatory evacuation order ahead of the storm.

Accuweather warned those along the path of the storm from northern Florida to southeastern Virginia should expect downed trees and power outages.

The kitties were found in a home with a collapsed ceiling in Panama City, Florida, and have become a symbol of resilience and hope for some in the wake of the ferocious storm.

An estimated 288,000 homes and businesses were without power in Florida.

At least 3: The number of confirmed deaths as of Thursday.

FEMA officials famously use the Waffle House Index as a way of measuring storm damage: Since the diner chain is ubiquitous in the southeast, and rarely shuts down in extreme weather, seeing the Waffle House closed down before a storm is a sign that things are about to get extremely bad.

Sarah Radney saw trees falling down all around her grandparents' home when Hurricane Michael roared over Georgia. Forecasters say the storm has already begun shedding its tropical characteristics but will take on a new chapter as a powerful extratropical storm with gale force winds on its trek out to sea.

Other parts of Georgia also were hit hard by the storm. Emergency responders weren't able to get there in time to save her, thanks to the debris clogging the roads. The fate of many other residents was unknown, authorities said.

"I have had employees going to the communities where our kids live, going door to door and checking", said Principal Britt Smith by phone. A metal carport was picked up by the wind and crashed through the roof of a structure, hitting the girl's head, said Travis Brooks, the county's emergency management director. A man died Wednesday after a tree fell on a home near Greensboro, Florida, the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office said.

Haley Nelson stands in front of what is left of one of her father's trailer homes on Wednesday.

Twenty miles south of Mexico Beach, floodwaters were more than seven feet deep near Apalachicola, a town of about 2,300 residents, hurricane center chief Ken Graham said.

Tropical storm conditions are occurring over portions of central and eastern SC and will spread northward over central and eastern North Carolina this afternoon and evening.

Michael, the third most powerful storm ever to strike the USA mainland, weakened into a tropical storm over SC.

At least 1,085,356 people in six states were without power according to local power and energy agencies. It includes the privately insured wind and storm surge damage to residential, commercial and industrial properties and automobiles.