Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Hurricane Michael's damage in Mexico Beach, Florida, captured on drone video

Florida beach town devastated by Hurricane Michael National Florida beach town devastated by Hurricane Michael Mexico Beach FL was devastated after Hurricane Michael made landfall
Theresa Hayes | 12 October, 2018, 08:58

Residents like Scott Boutwell are in shock.

Among those brought to safety were nine people rescued by helicopter from a bathroom of their Panama City home after their roof collapsed, Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronald Hodges said.

Brad Rippey, a meteorologist for the US Agriculture Department, said Michael severely damaged cotton, timber, pecans and peanuts, causing estimated liabilities as high as $1.9bn and affecting up to 1.5 million hectares.

Two deaths have so far been attributed to the storm, with one person said to have died as the result of a falling tree in Gadson County, Florida, and a child reported to have been killed when a tree crashed through a mobile home.

President Donald Trump pledged to help storm victims. More than 6 inches of rain has fallen in the western part of the state, Cooper said. "We will not rest or waver until the job is done and the recovery is complete".

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

Widespread cell tower and internet outages have been reported along the devastating path of Hurricane Michael, according to the Federal Communications Commission's first report following Wednesday's storm.

Michael had rapidly intensified as it churned north over the Gulf of Mexico in recent days, growing from a tropical storm into a Category 4 hurricane in about 40 hours and catching many by surprise.

CNN's John Berman and Dianne Gallagher report from Panama City Beach, Florida, as Hurricane Michael approaches landfall.

Debris and floodwater are also making some of the worst-hit areas hard to reach.

Hurricane Michael damaged the Florida Panhandle and crossed Georgia overnight with heavy winds.

Mr 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.

Along the 321-kilometre Panhandle, Michael washed away white-sand beaches, hammered military bases and destroyed coastal communities, stripping trees to stalks, shredding roofs, toppling trucks and pushing boats into buildings.

Downed power lines lay almost everywhere. Aluminium siding was shredded to ribbons. "We thought the windows were going to break at any time", Beu said. Hundreds of cars had broken windows, many turned askew by the wind.

One of the carport's legs punctured the roof and hit her in the head.

In Panama City, buildings were crushed, tall pine trees were sent flying and a steeple was knocked off a church.

It's unclear how many of them are missing.

More than 370,000 people in Florida were ordered to evacuate but officials believe many ignored the warning.

The third-most powerful hurricane to hit the USA mainland in recorded history left a wide path of destruction across Florida and Georgia, destroying homes and shopping centres and knocking down trees, killing at least two people.