Over 940,000 US customers without power after Michael

Cristina Cross
October 13, 2018

Hurricane Michael had intensified to an "extremely dangerous" category 4 storm on Wednesday as it flashed towards the state of Florida even as Florida, Alabama, and Georgia had declared a state of emergency on the same day.

Mexico Beach, the ground-zero town, was almost obliterated by the hurricane, an official said Friday as the scale of the storm's fury became ever clearer. "Rescuers have so far been unable to conduct thorough searches there.

5 suspected tornadoes", the Virginia Department of Emergency Management said on Twitter.

"When state and local officials tell you to get out, dang it, do it. Get out", he said.

Search teams used dogs for people killed or trapped in debris, including in hardest-hit Mexico Beach.

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Rescue teams were using sniffer dogs in a search for victims.

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The death toll from hurricane Michael, one of the most powerful storms to make landfall in the USA 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.

"We are still in the heat of search and rescue and do not have any information at this time", said Catie Feeney of the Bay County Emergency Services agency. The area is home to a number of rural communities that are among the poorest in the state.

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Damaged homes are seen along the water's edge in the aftermath of hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Fla., Friday, Oct. 12, 2018.

By Friday morning the remnants of Michael had moved into the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Norfolk, Virginia, but still could bring up to 13 cm of rain to parts of New England, the National Hurricane Centre said.

GONE. Claire mourns as she sees the damage caused by Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida, on October 12, 2018.

"You hope that somehow at the last minute a bunch of people got up and left or went somewhere else", Florida Senator Marco Rubio told CNN.

- The recovery will be long, but Florida is persistent, we help each other, and we will survive.

Nearly 1.2 million homes and businesses were without power from Florida to Virginia on Thursday.

Michael crashed ashore near Mexico Beach on Wednesday afternoon as one of the most powerful storms in United States history, with winds of up to 155 miles per hour (250 km per hour). We bought it four years ago and completely rebuilt it. "We have to wait for our assessment to be completed before we can say how many are missing", said Uganda Red Cross spokeswoman Irene Nakasiita.

"It's a wipeout", he said on Friday, adding that he plans to sell up.

Bob Tenbrunson, a Mexico Beach retiree, rode out the storm at his daughter's house in nearby Panama City and returned to survey the damage to his home. "People will just pack up and leave".

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