Over 1 million U.S. customers without power after Michael

Blanche Robertson
October 13, 2018

Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban, leader of a search-and-rescue unit that entered the devastated community, said: "We have one confirmed deceased and are working to determine if there are others".

Zahralban said searchers were trying to determine if that person had been alone or was part of a family.

Search teams continued to pick their way through the ruins of Mexico Beach, the ground-zero town of about 1,000 people that was almost wiped off the map when Michael blew ashore there on Wednesday with devastating 155 miles per hour winds.

The images, released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, show severe damage in Mexico Beach, Florida, which took an nearly direct hit from one of the most powerful storms to make landfall on the US mainland.

However, Alan Harris, Seminole County Emergency Management Director, told the state Emergency Operations Center during its 8:30 a.m. briefing that so far, the state is standing down from setting up a temporary mortuary, a sign that mass casualties, at least for now, have not been found.

State officials said Mexico Beach was under mandatory evacuation orders but some residents made a decision to stay and try to ride out the storm. It's unclear how many of them are missing.

Hundreds of thousands of people remain without electricity in Florida, Georgia and Virginia, and officials say it could be weeks before power is fully restored.

Hurricane Michael hit the Florida panhandle Wednesday as a Category 4 storm, shocking even veteran storm-watchers with its destructive force.

"I didn't recognise nothing".

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"You can't make sense of it, but what you do is you take the situation, and what we have to make certain that our kids know is that we must be resilient", Smith said. "That's her bathroom. She may have went in her bathroom".

"We didn't expect it to get this bad", she told CNN via Instagram. He says it's still too risky in Bay County, Florida, where the hurricane made landfall.

In terms of wind speed, Michael is the fourth strongest storm ever to hit the U.S. after Andrew in 1992, Camille in 1969 and an unnamed Labor Day Hurricane in 1935.

FSU is also asking people to avoid the area so they don't hinder fix work. The U.S. Coast Guard ran 10 rescue missions into the region Wednesday night. "We will not rest or waver until the job is done and the recovery is complete". "We've got to finish search and rescue".

"I think you're going to see it climb", Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said of the death count.

"I had never seen hurricane damage up close before and it was very devastating for a lot of people."
"Building codes at the local and state level are the key to resiliency, not a bigger FEMA", he said. It includes the privately insured wind and storm surge damage to residential, commercial and industrial properties and automobiles. It was a powerful explosion of nature, one of the most powerful hurricanes on record. "At this time I can't tell you how long that will take, but I'm on it", Laidlaw wrote. "Be careful with all the chainsaws ... and don't touch downed power lines".

On Thursday, the National Geodetic Survey began surveying damage twice daily from Mobile Bay to St. George Island, Florida, and over Panama City.

The NHC warned that communities in north-west Florida and North Carolina faced the threat of life-threatening flooding as rising water moved inland from the coast.

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