17 dead, power outages affect 1.5 mil. after Hurricane Michael

Jim Bob looks at the destruction caused by Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach Florida

Jim Bob looks at the destruction caused by Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach Florida

"I have had employees going to the communities where our kids live, going door to door and checking", Principal Britt Smith said by phone.

The official said that after Hurricane Irma in September 2017, a field hospital was required in the Florida Keys for a year, and similar situations may be required with Michael.

12 people have been killed across four states, and the whereabouts of 280 people in Florida was known as of Thursday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has gathered resources from the government to help with the preparation.

Efforts to rebuild will begin after homes and roads were smashed and trees downed.

The maximum wind speed was 120 km/h, earlier it reached 250 km/h Potential damage from the hurricane is estimated at billions of dollars.

"People have no idea how hard Hurricane Michael has hit the great state of Georgia", Trump tweeted.

Michael blew ashore near Mexico Beach on Wednesday afternoon as one of the most powerful storms in USA history, with winds of up o 155 miles per hour (250 km per hour). At least five people were killed in Virginia, state officials said on Friday. "Hopefully it doesn't rise dramatically but it does remain a possibility".

Mexico Beach, a gorgeous beachfront city, now looks like an apocalyptic mess, according to survivors. Rescuers from Fema used dogs, drones and Global Positioning System in the search.

The tally of lives lost across the South stood at 14, including the victim found in the rubble of Mexico Beach. "We still haven't gotten into some of the hardest-hit areas". Four people died in Gadsden County and three died in Jackson County, in addition to one recovered so far in Mexico Beach, located in Bay County.

"Never ends, but we're all prepared and hopefully it won't be as bad as it's looking. This is obviously the worst", said Stephanie Palmer, a Fema firefighter and rescuer from Coral Springs, Florida.

Long said the storm posed a direct threat to people who ignored warnings and evacuation orders on the coastlines, particularly given the threat of storm surge capable of tearing apart and flattening buildings.

Michael weakened to a post-tropical cyclone late Thursday and is expected to exit Virginia out into the Atlantic Ocean Friday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.

"It seems that all the areas from Panama city to Mexico beach has suffered much more than anyone expected, said the Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, in an interview with ABS".

Scott promised an "aggressive" cleanup operation, but acknowledged its huge scale. Numerous 600 families who live there had followed orders to pack what they could in a single suitcase as they were evacuated before the storm.

"I made a decision to stay because my family chose to evacuate, but the pets had to stay here", Panama City resident John Pandullo said. He called it "unimaginable destruction".

"We had houses that were on one side of the street and now they're on the other", said Mayor Bo Patterson, who watched trees fly by his window as he rode out the storm in his home seven blocks from the beach. "All of my furniture was floating", Mexico Beach resident Linda Marquardt told the Associated Press. "It was terrible, and now there's just nothing left".

Satellite images show how the powerful storm changed the landscape of Florida's Panhandle.

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