Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Science | By

'Horrendous. Catastrophic': Menacing Michael Leaves Florida Devastated, Heads for Carolinas

'Horrendous. Catastrophic': Menacing Michael Leaves Florida Devastated, Heads for Carolinas

The two people killed in the storm were a man who died when a tree toppled onto his house in Florida and a girl who died when debris fell into a home in Georgia, officials and local media said. A few blocks inland, about half the homes were reduced to piles of wood and siding and those still standing had suffered heavy damage.

Fast-moving Michael, a Category 4 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale when it came ashore, was about 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, at 8 p.m. (0000 GMT), with top sustained winds of 50 miles (80 kph) as it headed for the Atlantic coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

It weakened to a storm as it moved inland towards the north-east, but at least six people have died, a lot of them in Florida. That includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-priced loans for uninsured property losses and other programs to help with recovery.

FEMA director Brock Long said in a Thursday briefing Mexico Beach took the brunt of the storm and is "ground zero".

The hurricane, the fiercest to hit Florida in 80 years, pummeled communities across the Panhandle and turned streets into roof-high waterways.

Michael, the third most powerful hurricane ever to hit the United States mainland, weakened overnight to a tropical storm but marched northeast on Thursday, toppling trees with 80kph winds and bringing "life threatening" flash flooding to Georgia and Virginia, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported.


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

Residents and officials were taking stock of the damage on Thursday.

Almost 950,000 homes and businesses were without power in Florida, Alabama, the Carolinas and Georgia on Thursday.

"I'm very concerned about our citizens that didn't evacuate and I just hope that, you know, we don't have much loss of life", Scott told ABC.

The American Red Cross is providing food, water and shelter to more than 7,000 people. Patterson estimated 1,000 homes were completely or partially destroyed in his town of 3,500 people. HHS offered assistance to patients who rely on ventilators, dialysis and other medical equipment that needs electricity.

Gov. Rick Scott said the Panhandle woke up to "unimaginable destruction". "We will not rest or waver until the job is done and the recovery is complete". "Again, it is imperative for you to stay indoors as our first responders arrive".

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