Rescuers comb rubble of Florida beach communities for Hurricane Michael survivors
13 October, 2018, 12:58
"It was so scary you'd poo yourself", said retiree Tom Garcia, 60, who was trapped inside his Mexico Beach home as water poured in to waist height.
Food and water distribution intensified on Friday, as pallets of provisions made their way to the coast on the roads that have been cleared of debris.
12 people have been killed across four states, and the whereabouts of 280 people in Florida was known as of Thursday.
Brock Long, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), warned that he expected the number of deaths to rise.
Efforts to rebuild will begin after homes and roads were smashed and trees downed.
Leslie, a Category 1 hurricane, is located about 895 miles (1,445 kilometers) south south-west of Lisbon, Portugal, with maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour (140 km/h), NHC said.
More than 940,000 homes and businesses on the US East Coast were without power on Friday and it could be weeks before power is restored to the most damaged parts of Florida. It killed at least 12 people in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia, officials said. Rescuers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) used dogs, drones and Global Positioning System in the search. "Hopefully it doesn't rise dramatically but it does remain a possibility".
FEMA crews also used drone aircraft and global positioning satellites in their search.
"We still haven't gotten into the hardest-hit areas", he said, adding with frustration: "Very few people live to tell what it's like to experience storm surge, and unfortunately in this country we seem to not learn the lesson".
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On Thursday, she shared photos on WhatsApp of the scene of what she described as a "massive landslide", including images of dismembered corpses caked in mud laid out by the river. The U.S. Coast Guard ran 10 rescue missions into the region Wednesday night. "Help is on the way", he tweeted.
"Never ends, but we're all prepared and hopefully it won't be as bad as it's looking. This is obviously the worst", said Stephanie Palmer, a FEMA firefighter and rescuer from Coral Springs, Florida.
The concern was for people who ignored evacuation orders ahead of the storm and stayed put in communities that were demolished by Michael's ferocity on Wednesday.
Scott promised an "aggressive" cleanup operation, but acknowledged its huge scale. "So many families have lost everything". He called it "unimaginable destruction".
Brad Rippey, a meteorologist for the U.S. Agriculture Department, said Michael severely damaged cotton, timber, pecans and peanuts, causing estimated liabilities as high as $1.9 billion and affecting up to 3.7 million crop acres (1.5 million hectares).
Patterson estimated 1,000 homes were completely or partially destroyed in his town of 3,500 people.
According to the newspaper, significantly damaged houses, broken Windows and storefronts, numerous streets flooded. "If you don't have to come towards the coast, I would stay as far west of the panhandle as you can because it's just insane down here".
"You hope that somehow at the last minute a bunch of people got up and left or went somewhere else", Florida Senator Marco Rubio told CNN.