Searchers find body in hurricane-stricken town

Searchers find body in hurricane-stricken town

Searchers find body in hurricane-stricken town

Three people died in North Carolina, all due to falling trees, and a young girl was killed in Georgia when debris was blown through the roof of her grandparents' home.

As the catastrophic damage across the Florida Panhandle came into view 48 hours after the hurricane struck, there was little doubt the death toll would rise.

"We do not have a count, but we are working to identify them", Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban, leader of a search-and-rescue team in Mexico Beach, told The Associated Press. A councilwoman from there issued an urgent plea to anyone thinking of returning. "They said Michael came, and he came to destroy".

On Tuesday, storm scientists predicted that Hurricane Michael would continue gaining strength as the cyclone approached the coast.

Panama City, a popular spring break retreat, and Mexico Beach, another upscale coastline spot, were almost unrecognizable in Michael's wake.

"All of my furniture was floating", said Marquardt, 67.

"The water kept coming so fast, it started coming in from everywhere", he said as he sat outside on a broken set of stairs lying atop a mattress and other storm debris.

Picking our way through a mass of rubble and detritus that was once a house, we spot an American flag on the ground; in amongst it all there is also a toy vehicle and a cracked glass plate from a microwave. "Everything's gone. I didn't even know our road was our road", said 25-year-old Tiffany Marie Plushnik, an evacuee who returned to find her home in Sandy Creek too damaged to live in. "There's nothing left here anymore".

"Mexico Beach needs your prayers", Albrecht said of the town of about 1,200 people. She's desperate for news about the condition of her home, but she can't reach anyone, she says.

"I told him, 'Hold on, just hold on, I'm calling for help now", she told CNN affiliate WFTS, sobbing. "They didn't have a place to go". The debris-covered floor of the school's gymnasium is now fully visible from outside.

"Here's the thing guys, we've been kind of quarantined from and really cut off from any information, so you're getting a raw look with us".

"Resiliency is important, and it's an important life message that we all have to learn".

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Crews began search-and-rescue missions Wednesday night in hard-hit areas. The city was also dealing with downed power lines, fallen trees and power outages. "This is just a small unique coastal community".

Of the 17 killed in the storm, eight were located in Florida. No one has heard from them since Wednesday afternoon. A neighbor's home across the street got shoved off its foundation. "When the water flowed down it brought a number of big stones with it that destroyed people's houses", Nakasiita said.

"I knew we could sit on the sink or we could stand on the sink if we had to", Summers said. "It's just stuff we can replace".

There were still 1.3 million customers without power across Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and Virginia as of 5 a.m. Saturday.

Residents and rescue workers in Florida and other southeastern US states are digging through the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Michael, the remnants of which have moved out into the Atlantic Ocean.

Tornadoes, risky winds and more flooding are possible in numerous same areas still recovering from Hurricane Florence.

Michael has continued up the America's southeast, dumping heavy rains and spreading flash flooding misery as far away as Virginia. A driver in North Carolina was killed when a tree fell on his vehicle.

"We're trained to stay calm and to be strong and tell the stories".

If the body count remains as low as is now expected, it will be because Michael hit a modern, developed region with established infrastructure, solid communications, experience in dealing with storms and a disaster prevention plan in place. The planet has warmed significantly over the past several decades, causing changes in the environment.

According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, human-caused greenhouse gases in the atmosphere create an energy imbalance, with more than 90% of remaining heat trapped by the gases going into the oceans. "If it's to keep people warm, we'll keep people warm". Storm surge is worse now than it was 100 years ago, thanks to the rise in sea levels.

The Coast Guard said it rescued at least 27 people before and after the hurricane's landfall, mostly from coastal homes.

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