Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

After Pummeling Florida and Georgia, Deadly Michael Heads to the Carolinas

Gerald Herbert  APA woman checks on her vehicle as Hurricane Michael passes through in Panama City Beach Fla. Oct. 10 2018 Gerald Herbert APA woman checks on her vehicle as Hurricane Michael passes through in Panama City Beach Fla. Oct. 10 2018
Derrick Tucker | 12 October, 2018, 22:29

Gov. Rick Scott announced soon after the powerful eye had swept inland that "aggressive" search and rescue efforts would get underway as conditions allowed.

Distribution centers have been set up outside retailers such as Wal-Mart and Publix because there is no way right now to let survivors know where they can get supplies.

This means federal funding is now available to those affected in the counties of Bay, Franklin, Gulf, Taylor, and Wakulla.

As thousands of National Guard troops, law enforcement officers and medical teams spread out, the governor pleaded with people in the devastated areas to stay away because of hazards such as fallen trees and power lines.

Much of downtown Port St. Joe, 19 km east of Mexico Beach, was flooded after Michael snapped boats in two and hurled a large ship onto the shore, residents said.

Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida is closed while officials assess what they're calling "widespread catastrophic damage".

"We are not completely done, we are still getting down there", the governor added.

The storm will then continue into southeastern Virginia and finally the Atlantic Ocean by late tonight or early Friday.

At least 3: The number of confirmed deaths as of Thursday.

A Pittsylvania County Sheriff's deputy and a local resident tried to rescue King, but the floodwaters were too deep and fast-moving.

Major flooding is expected on the Haw River and moderate flooding on the Tar and Rocky rivers on Thursday and Friday. The fate of many other residents was unknown, authorities said.

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Parts of Virginia were struck with heavy rains and flash flooding, said Jeff Caldwell, a spokesman for the state Department of Emergency Management.

Death toll rises: At least 2 people were killed in storm-related incidents since Wednesday.

In fact, according to hurricane expert Kerry Emanuel of MIT, Michael could have become even stronger if not for some adverse wind shear, potentially reaching full Category 5 strength.

Though the storm has weakened, it is continuing on a unsafe path across the southeast states. It's here where an 11-year-old girl was killed during the storm.

In Roberta, in Crawford County, Hill Bentley said he saw spinning clouds that looked like a tornado Wednesday.

As of this morning, Michael is a post-tropical storm off the Eastern Seaboard.

Rob Golding has opened his home in the Springfield Callaway suburb of Panama City to some of his neighbors whose homes were heavily damaged.

In his letter posted on the base's website, Laidlaw says crews need to clear trees from roads, fix power lines and "assess the structural integrity of our buildings" before anyone returns.

Michael had rapidly intensified as it churned north over the Gulf of Mexico in recent days, growing from a tropical storm into a Category 4 hurricane in about 40 hours and catching many by surprise.

The resort town of Mexico Beach, where the hurricane made landfall, suffered massive destruction from the 155 miles per hour (250 kph) winds.

By 5 a.m., Michael's eye was about 45 miles (72 kilometres) west of Augusta, Georgia, packing top winds of 50 mph (80 kph) and moving at 21 mph (33 kph) into SC, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

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