Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Michael claims at least 11 lives, including 11-year-old girl

Michael claims at least 11 lives, including 11-year-old girl

A day after making landfall near Mexico Beach in Florida as a Category 4 monster packing 155 miles per hour winds, Tropical Storm Michael continued to weaken but was still threatening the Southeast with heavy rains, heavy winds and possible spinoff tornadoes.

In Mexico Beach, population 1,000, the storm shattered homes, leaving floating piles of lumber.

Historic storm:Michael is the third most intense hurricane to hit the continental USA since 1851 based on its low central pressure, CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said.

Accuweather warned those along the path of the storm from northern Florida to southeastern Virginia should expect downed trees and power outages.

This time, the Panama City school was ripped apart by Michael.

An estimated 6,000 people evacuated to emergency shelters, mostly in Florida, and that number was expected to swell to 20,000 across five states by week's end, said Brad Kieserman of the American Red Cross.

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Virginia authorities have confirmed five storm-related deaths in the state.

Residents and officials were taking stock of the damage on Thursday.

Hurricane Michael smashed into the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday.

A man outside Tallahassee, Florida, was killed by a falling tree, and an 11-year-old girl in Georgia died when the winds picked up a carport and dropped it on her home.

The wrath of Michael continued into Georgia, bringing possible tornadoes and winds that kept first responders away from the streets for hours - even as the storm weakened and became a tropical storm. Darkness concealed the full extent of the damage left behind, but a second death was reported early Thursday, apparently caused by debris crashing through a mobile home and killing a child inside.

On its current track the storm is headed for the Carolinas, where cities and towns are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

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By late Wednesday, the storm had moved toward Georgia.

The governors of North and SC urged residents to brace for heavy rain and storm-force winds as Michael plowed northward up the Atlantic seaboard.

Six Florida counties remain under curfews, as work crews try to push debris off of roads so utility and emergency crews can start to fix the damage and reach people who need help. "I don't know what I'm going to", said Williams.

By Thursday morning, the system had been downgraded to a tropical storm but remained unsafe, according to the National Hurricane Center.

A Panhandle man was killed by a tree that toppled on a home, Gadsden County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Anglie Hightower said. The lead-gray water was so high that roofs were about all that could be seen of many homes.

It moved so fast that people didn't' have much time to prepare, and emergency authorities lamented that many ignored the warnings and seemed to think they could ride it out. Entire roofs were torn away in the town of about 1,000 people, now a scene of utter devastation.

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Most of the full-time residents, he said, have some connection to the hospitality industry. Michael's storm surge pushed lead-gray water up to the rooftops. An eight-foot storm surge inundated neighborhoods, covering some homes to the rooftop.

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