Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Hurricane Michael strikes Florida, moves to Carolinas as tropical storm

Death Toll Rises As Michael Moves Along US Coast Hurricane Michael strikes Florida, moves to Carolinas as tropical storm
Cary Marshall | 12 October, 2018, 05:39

Mexico Beach is a community of about 1,200 people and city leaders say about a quarter of them chose to ride out the storm in the area.

"We were pleased that carriers had pre-positioned equipment and were in the process deploying cells on wheels (COWs) and cells on light trucks (COLTs) in order to get wireless service up and running in many locations", Pai said in a statement.

Communications outages and roads blocked by downed trees, strewn power lines and debris made it hard to get an overall assessment of the damage wrought by Michael, but the initial picture was grim.

Rick Scott said both hospitals in Panama City are destroyed.

If destroyed homes, lost livelihoods and mass power outages were not enough to be dealing with, Florida's victims of Hurricane Michael are facing another potential problem - the state's toxic red tide.

The eye of Category 4 Hurricane Michael showed an absolute calm when it made landfall in the Florida Panhandle, while images of the storm's aftermath show pure destruction.

As the storm heads over North Carolina and Virginia, heavy rain is forecast with up to nine inches of rain forecast for those two states. The Carolinas are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

Almost 950,000 homes and businesses were without power in Florida, Alabama, the Carolinas and Georgia on Thursday.

More news: Trump calls stock sell-off a correction, says Fed ‘crazy’

Mr Long said several hospitals in the Panhandle were hit by the hurricane and patients had to be evacuated.

Thousands of people hunkered down in shelters overnight after fleeing their homes ahead of the storm.

But many people living in counties farther east in North Central Florida were spared.

Some of the most devastating pictures came from the tiny city of Mexico Beach - southeast of Panama City. Wind damage was also evident.

"Lake City dodged a huge one here", Reynolds said. The level of outages following Michael are similar to when Hurricane Irma struck Florida previous year.

With a low barometric pressure recorded at 919 millibars, the measure of a hurricane's force, it ranked as the third strongest storm on record to make landfall in the continental United States. Only Hurricane Camille on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1969 and the so-called Labor Day hurricane of 1935 in the Florida Keys were more intense. US President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for all of Florida, freeing federal assistance to supplement state and local disaster responses.

The Florida Department of Transportation is leading an effort with "dozens of crews" to clear roadways so first responders can access more areas that have been affected by the storm, the governor said.

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