Search and rescue efforts have begun in the Florida Panhandle as the US Army, state authorities and volunteers dealt with Hurricane Michael’s aftermath on Friday.
The Category-four storm smashed into Florida’s northwest coast near the small town of Mexico Beach on Wednesday with two hundred and fifty kilometre per hour winds. Michael has been blamed for at least seven deaths and was downgraded to a tropical storm overnight on Thursday.
US Army personnel used heavy equipment to push a path through debris in Mexico Beach to allow rescuers to search for trapped residents, survivors or casualties. Video shot by CNN news network from a helicopter showed homes closest to the water in Mexico Beach had lost all but their foundations.
Nearly nine hundred and fifty thousand homes and businesses were without power in Florida, Alabama, the Carolinas and Georgia on Thursday. Brad Kieserman of the American Red Cross said the number of people in emergency shelters was expected to swell to twenty thousand across five states by today.