As thousands join Hurricane Michael recovery efforts, many residents remain missing

16 October, 2018, 22:28 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Florida

Other people lost their livelihoods in the storm because the businesses they worked for were destroyed.

Rescuers are using cadaver dogs and heavy equipment to search through collapsed homes in small towns such as Mexico Beach and Panama City for more victims.

"Every time I've called, he's come through", Scott said.

"We are with you!" he tweeted.

Michael hit the Florida Panhandle with 250kph winds as a Category 4 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

Officials say it could be days to weeks before everyone is accounted for.

"Just the desperation in the family members' voices that hadn't contacted their loved one for a few days was bad", he said.

According to reporters who followed the president in a separate helicopter, a water tower could be seen lying on its side, huge trucks lay scattered in a parking lot and many houses were roofless.

"If we lose only one life, to me that's going to be a miracle", said Mexico Beach Mayor Al Cathey.

City Clerk Adrian Welle told local media that 46 people in Mexico Beach were still unaccounted for.

Many trees were ripped out of the ground, and a number of roofs had holes torn in them by the storm's strong winds.

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A Houston-based organisation called CrowdSource Rescue that takes calls from anxious family members and sends the details to rescue crews on the ground said it has helped find almost 1,500 people across the region since Michael struck.

Search teams continued to pick their way through the ruins of Mexico Beach, the ground-zero town of about 1,000 people that was almost wiped off the map when Michael blew ashore there on Wednesday with devastating 155 miles per hour winds. He stressed he did not blame local officials.

"To see this personally is very tough - total devastation", Trump said in Lynn Haven, a city of about 18,500 people near Panama City in northwestern Florida that was his first stop. Trump also visited a farm and met with growers of cotton and pecans to talk about the storm-related losses they suffered.

"Our hope was that he evacuated but nobody had heard from him", she said. Some reports indicate that has already begun, though state emergency officials have said those "deep" searches haven't started yet in earnest.

Mr. Trump repeatedly praised Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who in turn said the administration had followed through with resources.

Across the ravaged region, meanwhile, authorities set up distribution centres to hand out food and water to victims. Thousands of residents in the affected areas still lack electricity. At the White House, on his way to Marine One, he was pressed on the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.

Gee fled her home near Panama City with her two children on Thursday but was concerned about her aunt and uncle.

President Donald Trump is marveling at the hurricane damage he's seen while touring devastated Florida Panhandle communities.

Lane, her husband and her son rode out the storm on the second story of an inn down the street from her home.

"I want to thank the president for always taking my call-and for showing up".

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