Search intensifies for 1,500 still missing after Hurricane Michael

Search intensifies for 1,500 still missing after Hurricane Michael

Michael has since been downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves through the Carolinas, which are still recovering from last month's Hurricane Florence.

Beyond Florida, five storm-related deaths were reported in Virginia - including that of a fireman whose firetruck was struck by a semitrailer truck.

Days after powerful Hurricane Michael made landfall Wednesday just north of Mexico Beach, Florida, thousands of people have been reported missing to local authorities.

In Georgia, officials are receiving reports that 84 chicken houses - estimated to hold more than 2 million chickens - were destroyed in the storm, which also caused severe damage to pecan, cotton, vegetable and peanut crops. Those numbers are added to almost 345,000 accounts without power in Florida and 150,000 in Georgia.

Search teams continued to pick their way through the ruins of Mexico Beach, the ground-zero town of about 1,000 people that was almost wiped off the map when Michael blew ashore there on Wednesday with devastating 155 miles per hour winds.

The front door of Bay Medical Sacred Heart in Panama City was boarded up Friday, and water service hadn't been restored, but a handmade sign directed patients to the emergency room, which remains operational.

"When we pulled into Mexico Beach, she was trying to jump out the window because she smelled so many bodies", he said.

Scott said he visited Mexico Beach on Friday which was almost wiped out in the storm and described the area looking like a "war zone".

The number of people missing in Florida is unclear.

"I'm used to helping people and not asking for help", she said, her voice breaking with emotion.

Thousands of residents in the Florida Panhandle are slowly returning to their homes and discovering that everything or nearly everything they owned has been reduced to rubble.

Rescue teams with sniffer dogs were searching for possible victims buried under the rubble in the debris-strewn community. "It's not the Mexico Beach we know". "It was the most attractive, secret location you could have for a vacation". Chesterfield, Newport News and Virginia Beach were among the cities with the most costumers without power.

An entire neighborhood in Mexico Beach, Florida was wiped out by Hurricane Michael.

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"This is a war zone".

"It wasn't going to get this high, realistically".

"Seventy-five percent of our city is not here (destroyed)", he said. "You're not going to recognize Mexico Beach". 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.

More than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast had been ordered or urged to clear out as Michael closed in.

"It's hard to grasp", he said.

As of Saturday morning, there were more than 175,000 customers without power throughout Virginia. There were other downed trees on the hospital campus. "All major roadways are passable", the city said, adding that 83 percent of its traffic signals were operating normally.

The Cooter Stew Cafe starts taking water in the town of Saint Marks as Hurricane Michael pushes the storm surge up the Wakulla and Saint Marks Rivers which come together here on October 10, 2018 in Saint Marks, Florida.

"It was just so insane and it's just so bad", he said.

"For me, the cotton crop is as bad as it gets. You can not tell where he stopped harvest and where the rest of it was being harvested by the storm".

This photo shows devastation from Hurricane Michael in this aerial photo over Mexico Beach, Fla.

Of the five deaths in Virginia, four were from drowning, according to member station WVTF.

In Hanover County, a firefighter died and four others were injured, including three seriously, after a tractor trailer crashed into them as they tried to help with another crash involving two vehicles along Interstate 295 outside Mechanicsville, Va.

In Virginia, the National Weather Service said on Friday, "significant river flooding is occurring or forecast on the Appomattox River and possibly even on the lower James River".

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