A vehicle sits partially submerged in floodwaters after Hurricane Michael hit in Panama City, Florida, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.
Rescue teams, hampered by power and telephone outages, were going door-to-door and using cadaver dogs, drones and heavy equipment to hunt for people in the rubble in Mexico Beach and other Florida coastal communities, such as Port St. Joe and Panama City.
For these hard-hit places, Michael - which came ashore as a Category 4 storm with 155 miles per hour winds that made it one of the strongest to make landfall in the Gulf in a century - will leave a long-lasting mark.
But judging from the number of homes reduced to "sticks", he said "my sense is they are going to find more victims". "So I followed the mandatory evacuation order and left with my wife".
"We still have flooding, downed trees, closed roads and a lot of debris", Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said at a news conference Friday afternoon.
Sauer along with a couple of his friends are helping to assess what people need and rounding up workers to help Floridians get back on their feet. 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.
"Hurricane Michael is a monstrous storm", said Florida Governor Rick Scott.
According to CNN reports on Saturday, more than 1 million people have been left without electricity and emergency officials have no access to many towns.
Michael was one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever make landfall in the USA, and this Gulf Coast community of about 1,000 people was in its bullseye.
At least four deaths from the storm have been confirmed in Florida, five in Virginia, one in Georgia and three in North Carolina. "And good luck", President Donald Trump said, USA Today reported. "I will be visiting both Florida and Georgia early next week".
Meanwhile, thousands of National Guard troops, law enforcement officers and rescue teams still had much to do in the hardest hit area: Florida's Panhandle.
Michael was the most intense hurricane to strike the Florida Panhandle since record keeping began in 1851.
The storm, which in less than two days grew from a tropical storm to a Category 4 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, tore apart entire suburbs in the state's Panhandle region, reducing homes to naked concrete foundations or piles of wood and siding.
The storm, one of the most powerful hurricanes in USA history, continued to cut a destructive path as a tropical storm, having weakened after lashing Georgia and North Carolina.
Tyndall Air Force Base, home to the F-22 stealth fighter, suffered extensive damage, according to aerial photos of the coastal facility. While most residents fled ahead of the storm's arrival, others stayed to face the hurricane.
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