Published: Fri, October 12, 2018

Michael leaves damage, impacts many across Hampton Roads

Michael leaves damage, impacts many across Hampton Roads

"When the water came in, houses started floating in front of our home", he said.

Albrecht, the Mexico Beach councilwoman, would like to return home, but she says the roads are impassible. "It was very bad, and now there's just nothing left".

Almost 850,000 homes and businesses were without power in Florida, Alabama, the Carolinas and Georgia on Thursday.

Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center in hard-hit Panama City, 32 km northwest of Mexico Beach, was treating some of the injured.

A crushed truck sits damaged after a the side of a house fell onto it following Hurricane Michael in the Florida panhandle in Panama City, Fla. on Thursday.

About 3,500 Florida National Guard troops were deployed to assist with evacuations and storm recovery, along with more than 1,000 search-and-rescue personnel, Florida Governor Rick Scott said.

Search teams - working by air, boat and on the ground - have entered Panama City, Mexico Beach, Alligator Point, Eastpoint, St. George Island and Apalachicola. Aluminium siding was shredded to ribbons. Hundreds of cars had broken windows. No patients were hurt, the hospital said.

Many people who evacuated the Florida Panhandle now have nowhere to work or live.

- Hurricane history: first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in Florida's Panhandle since record-keeping began in 1851. The elementary school, the flight line, the marina and the runways were devastated. "I just need to know".

"The bottom line is there is a significant amount of damage in many of those areas", said Danny Kilcollins, infrastructure branch director for the state's emergency center. "So many families have lost everything", he said.

An insurance company that produces models for catastrophes estimated Michael caused about $8 billion in damage. It includes the privately insured wind and storm surge damage to residential, commercial and industrial properties and automobiles. It doesn't include losses covered by the National Flood Insurance Program.

Homes destroyed in Mexico Beach, Florida.

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

The 11-year-old girl died after the strong winds swept up a metal carport and blew it into her home, hitting her on the head. A driver in North Carolina was killed when a tree fell on his vehicle.

On Friday, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management reported five hurricane-related fatalities. Four of them drowned, including James King of Dry Fork, Virginia.

"It's total devastation - no power, no water, no communication", she said.

Michael, the third most powerful hurricane ever to hit the USA mainland, weakened overnight to a tropical storm and pushed northeast on Thursday, bringing drenching rains to Georgia and the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

The sheriff's office has urged people to stay off the roads until the storm and its after-effects clear. It moved so fast that people didn't' have much time to prepare, and emergency authorities lamented that many ignored the warnings and seemed to think they could ride it out. It was so scary youd poo yourself, said retiree Tom Garcia, 60, who was trapped inside his Mexico Beach home as water poured in to waist height.

Thousands of people have been informally reported missing to local authorities, the Red Cross and the state, as people look for their friends and relatives.

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