Hurricane Michael kills 17 in US

Hurricane Michael kills 17 in US

Hurricane Michael kills 17 in US

Hurricane Michael's death toll rose to 11 on Friday as five people were reported killed when remnants of the storm passed through the U.S. state of Virginia, local officials said.

Further details were not immediately available.

Miami, Oct 13 The death toll from hurricane Michael, one of the most powerful storms to make landfall in the United States mainland, has increased to 17, with coastal Florida cities damaged beyond recognition, and homes, businesses and agriculture torn or swamped from Georgia to Virginia.

Utility companies said more than 1 million homes and businesses were without power from Florida to Virginia early Friday.

Cellphone service remained down Friday in some of the areas hit the hardest, with the only lifelines for some being satellite phones carried by news crews.

Aerial photo shows damaged and destroyed homes after Hurricane Michael smashed into Florida's northwest coast in Mexico Beach, Florida.

Elsewhere, the sheriff's office in Gadsden County near Tallahassee says it "can now confirm 4 storm-related fatalities following Hurricane Michael", all of which happened "in relation to or occurred during the storm".

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.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long had expected the death toll to rise from 13 people on Friday, mostly from trees falling onto houses.

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Florida Governor Rick Scott said as he visited Mexico Beach on Friday and "It was like a bomb went off".

Zahralban said searchers using a trained dog were trying to determine if that person had been alone or was part of a family.

"Michael could produce three life-threatening hazards along portions of the northeastern Gulf Coast: storm surge, heavy rainfall and hurricane-force winds", the hurricane center said adding that one potential impact from the hurricane is "electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes".

"We are swamped", he said.

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

She said local television stations were knocked off the air for two days, and authorities were relying on the radio station of the Gulf Coast State College to broadcast public service bulletins.

In one community, Panama City, most homes were still standing, but no property was left undamaged. "If we're going to rebuild, do it right".

Mexico Beach, a gorgeous beachfront city, now looks like an apocalyptic mess, according to survivors. "Everything's gone. I didn't even know our road was our road", said Tiffany Marie Plushnik, 25, an evacuee who returned to find her home in Sandy Creek too damaged to live in. "People will just pack up and leave".

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