Officials expect more dead as rescuers probe Florida hurricane debris

Officials expect more dead as rescuers probe Florida hurricane debris

Officials expect more dead as rescuers probe Florida hurricane debris

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The death toll from hurricane Michael, one of the most powerful storms to make landfall in the United States mainland, rose to 11 on Friday, with authorities warning that the number of dead could rise as emergency workers ventured more deeply into the areas devastated by the storm. Michael flattened homes, plunged communities into darkness and ravaged whole neighborhoods.

"Hope is that even if the storm does come, even if I lose my auto, my house, my family, even if I lose my life, blessed be God", he said.

Michael lingered for two hours when it slammed into the Florida Panhandle, the strongest storm in the continental United States since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Hurricane Michael was expected to dump up to 7 inches of rain in parts of North Carolina and Virginia, the National Hurricane Centre said. The couple were assessing damage and trying to help neighbors on Thursday. "We thought the windows were going to break at any time", Beu said.

Michael charged ashore near the small Florida Panhandle town of Mexico Beach as one of the most powerful storms in US history, with winds of up to 155 miles per hour (250 km per hour). Several storm surge and tropical storm watches and warnings remain active for parts of SC and North Carolina.

Nearly one-and-a-half million customers were without power from Florida to Virginia on Thursday night. Cory Patirlo, who lives near the river, said the impact of Michael was unexpected.

Although the storm weakened as it reached North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper warned citizens to remain vigilant.

There may be lingering effects, though, the center wrote: "Gale winds may continue for a few more hours over portions of southeastern Virginia, the southern Chesapeake Bay, and the Delmarva Peninsula".

ABC News' Ginger Zee said she saw an "entire home, a well-built home, rolling down the street". Saturated grounds from Florence could also lead to more flash flooding.

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A man outside Tallahassee, Florida, was killed by a falling tree was the first of "four storm-related fatalities" announced by the Gadsden County Sheriff's office. In the storm's wake lay crushed and flooded buildings, shattered lives and at least 11 deaths, a number that officials worry could rise. A driver in North Carolina was killed when a tree fell on his vehicle. Officials didn't say whether anyone else was in the vehicle.

"When it came to this hurricane, it was an overachiever", he said.

In Pittsylvania County, Virginia, 45-year-old James King Jr. died after his vehicle was caught in a flash flood and he was swept away, state police said.

In Apalachicola, about 30 miles (48 km) east of where the storm made landfall, a little less than half of the 2,200 people stayed and rode out the storm, residents said.

Though most homes were still standing, no property was left undamaged.

Tyler Cassel walks in front of a flea market damaged by Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Florida, U.S. October 11, 2018. Scott, meanwhile, said 20 people were rescued uninjured from Mexico Beach overnight.

"It's OK if you want to live on the coast or on top of a mountain that sees wildfires or whatever but you have to build to a higher standard", he said.

An 80-mile stretch of Interstate 10, which weaves through the Panhandle, was closed Thursday so crews could clear debris, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

There is not much left of what used to be the parish hall of St. Dominic Catholic Church in Panama City, Florida, but piles and piles of rubble. No patients were hurt, the hospital said. "We will not rest or waver until the job is done and the recovery is complete". "It went through like a bullet, but it was a devastating bullet", Trump said.

A bedroom of a destroyed house is pictured following Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida.

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