Hurricane Michael: Dozens still missing on Florida coast

Jerry Register a congregation member of St. Andrew United Methodist Church hugs a fellow church member during Sunday service outside the damaged church in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Panama City Fla. Sunday Oct. 14 2018. (AP

One of the 17 deaths caused by the storm across four states occurred in Mexico Beach, an elderly man whose body was found hundreds of meters from his house. And residents in the hardest- hit areas are relying on airdropped food and water to survive.

A state of emergency was declared in Florida and on Sunday a similar declaration was made in Georgia. "It was negative on the search", she said.

Georgia EMC was reporting more than 66,700 outages as of 4 p.m. Sunday; Georgia Power, more than 22,600.

Residents were concerned about the rebuilding process after the storm.

The city announced the spills Saturday evening. The industry was also helped by a 12-year gap between hurricanes hitting the state from 2005 to last year.

Meanwhile, Sen. Bill Nelson said Tyndall Air Force Base on the Panhandle was heavily damaged, but he promised it would be rebuilt.

Nelson on Sunday visited the military base just days after Hurricane Michael tore across the region. Other buildings were left in masses of debris, demolished beyond recognition. He also said that some of the hangars were damaged severely.

At least eight people, including Sweet, have died in Florida.

Gulf Power officials announced Sunday that they expect to have power restored to 95 percent of those hit by Hurricane Michael by October 24 - or two weeks after the storm hit, leaving a trail of ruins across the region. 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.

Some areas -such as Panama City Beach- will get power restored in the next two days.

Amid the devastation caused by hurricane Michael, rescue operations in the southeastern U.S. have focused on Mexico Beach and Panama City, two Florida towns that were almost flattened and that could raise the death toll from the storm, which has taken at least 17 lives.

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The Aude river reached levels not seen in more than 100 years, the French agency responsible for monitoring, Vigicrues, said. Floodwaters were in some cases too powerful for emergency services to get through, even on boats, he said.

"When we look away from climate change, we look away from people in harm's way, and now we are living with consequences that are tragic". The utility has brought in thousands of utility workers from around the country to help with the restoration effort. Because its policies are in the highest-risk areas of the state, its average policy costs almost $2,600 annually with a range from about $3,600 in Miami and the Florida Keys to about $1,700 in Taylor County, not far from where Michael hit.

On Monday, President Donald Trump will visit some of the devastated cities in Florida and Georgia.

Trump will be accompanied by first lady Melania Trump.

While the White House has not provided a detailed itinerary for the trip, the president tweeted prior to his departure saying he would be sitting "with FEMA, First Responders and Law Enforcement".

Michael made landfall with 155 miles per hour winds on the Florida Panhandle on October 10. Trump last month visited North and SC after they were hit by Hurricane Florence.

Meanwhile in Georgia, officials are receiving reports that 84 chicken houses - estimated to hold more than 2 million chickens - were destroyed in the storm which also caused severe damage to pecan, cotton, vegetable and peanut crops.

The Department of Corrections said Saturday that the inmates were evacuated from the Gulf Correctional Institution and Annex and a portion of Calhoun Correctional Institution.

Both facilities sustained "significant damage to roofs and security infrastructure", according to a press release, which adds that no one was injured. The agency says inmate locations will be updated on its website within 24 hours.

Three days after Hurricane Michael unleashed its wrath in the Florida Panhandle, residents in some of the hardest hit areas are growing desperate for food and water.

On Saturday, emergency crews will continue descending into the coastal cities in the Panhandle, like Mexico Beach, that were wiped out and will try to reach remote areas that were isolated by downed trees and power poles. The tally of lives lost across the South stood at 14, including the victim found in the rubble of Mexico Beach, where about 1,000 people live.

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