Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Beachside town battered by Hurricane Michael

Frying Pan Tower flag blowing on Oct. 11 2018 during Tropical Storm Michael Frying Pan Tower flag blowing on Oct. 11 2018 during Tropical Storm Michael
Sandra Phillips | 12 October, 2018, 08:56

An official with an emergency management agency said Tropical Storm Michael is responsible for a child's death in Georgia.

When it made landfall Wednesday in the Florida Panhandle, Michael was packing 155 miles per hour winds, 2 miles per hour shy of a Category 5 storm.

Hurricane Michael's powerful winds and devastating storm surge wreaked havoc in Panama City Beach, Florida.

Among those brought to safety were nine people rescued by helicopter from a bathroom of their Panama City home after their roof collapsed, Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronald Hodges said.

The US Army said more than 2,000 Florida National Guard soldiers were working on the recovery operations.

It weakened to a storm as it moved inland towards the north-east, but at least six people have died, majority in Florida.

President Donald Trump pledged to help storm victims.

A resident surveys the scattered belongings at a damaged home after Hurricane Michael hit in Panama City, Fla.

Mr Long said several hospitals in the Panhandle were hit by the hurricane and patients had to be evacuated.

In Chattahoochee, Fla., a hospital with a section for the criminally insane was cut off by land and without phone service.

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Michael, the third most powerful hurricane ever to hit the United States mainland, weakened overnight to a tropical storm but marched northeast on Thursday, toppling trees with 80kph winds and bringing "life threatening" flash flooding to Georgia and Virginia, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported.

The fatalities included Sarah Radney, an 11-year-old girl in Seminole County, Georgia, and a man in Greensboro, Florida.

One of the carport's legs punctured the roof and hit her in the head.

An Associated Press team drove for miles and encountered extensive destruction around Panama City. Though most homes were still standing, no property was left undamaged.

"There are so many downed power lines and trees that it's nearly impossible to get through the city", Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson said.

Roofs were peeled away and sent airborne. Aluminium siding was shredded to ribbons. Homes were split open by fallen trees.

Hundreds of cars had broken windows.

A pine tree broke a hole in their roof and his ears popped when the barometric pressure plummeted.

It's unclear how many of them are missing. But it moved so fast and intensified so quickly that people didn't have much time to prepare, and emergency authorities lamented that many ignored the warnings.

Hurricane Michael is the strongest storm to make landfall in the continental United States in nearly half a century, and the strongest hurricane ever to hit in October.

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