Hurricane Michael toll climbs to 13 as rescuers search for victims

13 October, 2018, 04:02 | Author: Harriet Bell
  • Natural Gas

So when meteorologists saw the amount of wind shear surrounding Tropical Storm Michael this past weekend, they thought it would follow the usual model.

Five people were killed in Florida and a man died in a storm-related traffic accident in North Carolina on Thursday.

More than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast had been ordered or urged to clear out as Michael closed in.

Before the latest victims were reported, authorities had recorded four deaths in Florida's Gadsden County, one in Georgia and one in North Carolina.

"Either the shear calculations are unrepresentative or Michael has become more inertially stable due to its large eye and large outer wind field, making it more shear resistant", the report said. Those numbers are added to almost 345,000 accounts without power in Florida and 150,000 in Georgia.

The recovery in Florida will take time - especially in Mexico Beach, where Michael made landfall on Wednesday afternoon. "Panama City is catastrophic damage".

"I think you're going to see it climb", FEMA Administrator Brock Long said of the death count at a news conference. Numerous 600 families who live there had followed orders to pack what they could in a single suitcase as they were evacuated ahead of the storm.

Florida will give each of the impacted county 200 generators, so they can power their traffic lights, Scott said.

The Bluffton Police Department reported four incidents of trees or branches falling into roads or power lines.

Mexico Beach is cut off from the rest of the state, with roads blocked by debris and cell phone service mostly out.

"Before, it was paradise", Mexico Beach resident Lance Hanson told NPR's Greg Allen. "The best beach in the world".

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The US national guard has reached the town, dubbed "ground zero", and found 20 people who survived a direct hit from Michael . At least one person was killed in the storm. "So many lives have been changed forever".

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Becky Daniel and her wife Monica Barber pulled up to the scattered remains of their demolished gulf-front home off near Mexico Beach.

Marshall Shepherd, a former president of the American Meteorological Society, called Michael a "life-altering event", writing on social media that he watched the storm's growth on satellite images with a pit in his stomach.

Some of the worst damage was 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). Twisted street signs lay on the ground. "It's like a war zone". "If you're along the coast you've got to hunker down". Hanson asked. "This city is destroyed". "We just rebuilt this. You're not going to recognize Mexico Beach". A CNN reporter on the air read off several names of residents he had spoken with, to let concerned parties know they were safe.

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

The intense power of Michael caught many people off guard.

It weakened overnight to a tropical storm.

But the Hurricane Center said Sergio and its remnants were still expected to produce total rainfall of 3 to 5 inches over northwestern Mexico and 1 to 3 inches in parts of Arizona, New Mexico and toward the southern plains through Saturday, potentially causing unsafe floods.

"Virginia storm updates as of 7.00 am [1100 GMT Friday]". "All major roadways are passable", the city said, adding that 83 percent of its traffic signals were operating normally. "I will be visiting both Florida and Georgia early next week".

(Original story: October 9 @ 7:15 a.m.) - When Hurricane Michael makes landfall, likely in the next 24 hours, it's forecasted to do so as a major hurricane.

"It is our worst dream being realized", Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said.

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