After Michael's rampage on Florida Panhandle: 'Nothing Left'

Georgia girl dies when storm sends carport leg through roof

If destroyed homes, lost livelihoods and mass power outages were not enough to be dealing with, Florida's victims of Hurricane Michael are facing another potential problem - the state's toxic red tide.

John Humphress, a storm chaser and drone pilot, arrived in Mexico Beach around 5 p.m. Wednesday, a few hours after Michael slammed into the coastline. At the time, the then-tropical-storm wasn't expected to achieve its current Category 4 status, but now that it's here, it's time to batten down the hatches.

At least two people were killed as Hurricane Michael, one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the USA, slammed into the state of Florida, unleashing a trail of destruction by flooding beach towns, peeling off roofs and snapping trees before advancing to the Carolinas.

Two people, including a child, were killed by falling debris, the U.S. media reported on Thursday.

As many as 389,639 customers in Florida, 484,487 customers in North Carolina, 117,000 customers in Georgia, 24,000 customers in Alabama, 9,163 customers in SC and 61,067 customers in Virginia. The roar of the winds, he said, sounded like a jet engine. Twisted street signs lay on the ground.

Eight ships from Tampa, Miami and Galveston in Texas had to be re-routed from the path of Michael, but all three ports are operating normally again and each of Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line say passengers for the next cruises will not be affected.

Communications outages and roads blocked by downed trees, strewn power lines and debris made it hard to get an overall assessment of the damage wrought by Michael, but the initial picture was grim.

In North Carolina, still struggling to recover after Florence, up to 152mm of rain had fallen in the mountains by morning, and people had to be rescued from cars trapped in high water.

Authorities said about 285 of Mexico Beach's 1,000 residents failed to heed the mandatory evacuation order.

At least seven people were killed by falling trees and other hurricane-related incidents in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, according to state officials.

More than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast were ordered or urged to clear out as Michael closed in. But it moved so fast and intensified so quickly that people didn't have much time to prepare, and emergency authorities lamented that many ignored the warnings.

Meteorologist Bill Steffen described the casualty rate in the aftermath of such a massive storm as a credit to all involved. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) chief Brock Long said many buildings were not built to withstand a storm above the strength of a Category 3 hurricane.

The storm is likely to fire up the debate over global warming.

Asked why her family didn't leave, she said she thought they were safe on the fourth floor of a concrete building. But without extensive study, they can not directly link a single weather event to the changing climate.

Images captured by Associated Press journalists show the devastation left in Hurricane Michael's wake. HHS offered assistance to patients who rely on ventilators, dialysis and other medical equipment that needs electricity.

"We haven't seen her since the tree hit the den".

"Four baby kittens", she added.

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