Hurricane Michael Death Toll Continues To Rise

Weakening Hurricane Michael Swirls Over North Carolina in Satellite Images

Damaged boats sit among debris in a marina in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Florida, Friday, Oct. 12, 2018.

Several of the reported deaths were from drowning.

It could be weeks before power is restored to the most damaged parts of Florida. Authorities said that there is little doubt that number will rise further.

"It's like a war zone", he said while touring the town of 1,000 people on the Gulf of Mexico.

Governor Rick Scott said state officials still "do not know enough" about the fate of those who stayed behind in the region. "You don't want to put a rush on a thorough rescue".

Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban, leader of a search-and-rescue unit that entered Mexico Beach, said Friday that the team confirmed one fatality andis still trying to determine if there are others.

"We still haven't gotten into the hardest-hit areas", he said. In the storm's wake lay crushed and flooded buildings, shattered lives and at least 15 deaths that state and local officials have linked to the storm, with authorities investigating another three deaths.

Schools will stay closed indefinitely, a hospital halted operations and sent 200 patients to hospitals elsewhere in Florida and in Alabama, and more than 253,000 customers in the Panhandle remain without power. "They might have lost their house".

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Whether any of them got out at some point was unclear. "You can replace things, not people".

Crews with backhoes and other heavy equipment scooped up splintered boards, broken glass, chunks of asphalt and other debris in hurricane-flattened Mexico Beach on Sunday as the mayor held out hope for the 250 or so residents who may have tried to ride out the storm. "Every time something like this happens, you have to say to yourself, 'Is there something we can do better?"' "Then I got about three more feet inside, and I heard the shots", he explained.

Numerous 600 families who live there followed orders to pack what they could in a single suitcase as they were evacuated.

Jeff and Katrina Pearsey, with a ruined rental home in the Panama City area and no indication of when they could again earn a living, said they were heading to Bangor, Maine, where Katrina once worked as a nurse.

There is not much left of what used to be the parish hall of St. Dominic Catholic Church in Panama City.

Shell-shocked survivors who barely escaped with their lives told of terrifying winds, surging floodwaters and homes cracking like eggs.

Hector Morales, a 57-year-old cook, never thought of evacuating.

"Quiet, idyllic, what I call 'Old Florida,"' Fugate said. "The officers, I finally made accountability of them all today, two days after the fact".

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How many others were not so fortunate was still not clear.

Shortly before the storm, some 290 people had decided not to leave their home in Mexico Beach, ignoring evacuation orders. Jill Braxton stopped with a pickup truck loaded with hay, saying many people in rural areas nearby had trapped animals and needed supplies for their livestock.

A man walked through the damaged historical downtown district of Panama City, Fla., on Friday.

"They just wanted the community", he said.

The death toll from Michael has climbed to at least 17 people and is expected to rise, as search and rescue efforts continue. They've also set up a triage tent to treat residents stepping on nails and cutting themselves on debris. President Trump is also expected to visit the impacted area in the coming days.

The announcement was made Saturday, and authorizes FEMA and the DHS to provide assistance to areas affected by the storm.

"We are with you!" he tweeted.

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Picking up from 5am-6am on Friday, (parts of Scotland) could see gusts right through the day of 60mph, 70mph or 80mph. The main concern we are anxious about for the area is the amount of rainfall throughout Saturday itself.

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