Hurricane Michael has now claimed at least 6 lives and that number is expected to rise. The deaths are in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.
Michael has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but is still causing concern in North Carolina and Virginia. The Washington Post reports:
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) on Thursday declared a state of emergency in advance of the storm’s impact, warning people in the commonwealth to get ready for a sizable hit from the former hurricane.
“I want to urge all Virginians to prepare for the serious possibility of flash floods, tropical storm force winds, tornadoes and power outages,” Northam said in a statement.
The National Hurricane Center also issued this alert:
Potentially dangerous storm surge is possible tonight along the sound side of the North Carolina Outer Banks from Ocracoke Inlet to Duck, where a Storm Surge Watch is in effect
Meanwhile, as the other states continue assessing the damage, heartbreak is setting in. Many families are returning to find their homes destroyed. Some of the destruction is on display in the drone footage above.
This before and after of a street in Mexico Beach, Florida also gives you an idea of the power of a category 4 storm.
— Greg Postel (@GregPostel) October 11, 2018
In Chattahoochee, Florida a psychiatric hospital with almost 1000 patients and hundreds of workers was deemed inaccessible after the storm. The Tampa Bay Tribune reports:
The hospital had backup power and water systems that were activated before the hurricane hit, Department of Children and Families spokesman David Frady said Wednesday afternoon. Staff were “staying at the facility and are well stocked with emergency supplies,” he said.
But by Thursday morning, rescue groups were dropping pallets of food and water to the facility via helicopter.
— Amy Hollyfield (@amy_hollyfield) October 11, 2018
The Panama News Herald is used to reporting the news, but they became the news when their building was destroyed.
My husband who is doing cleanup for Panama City just sent me these photos. This is 11th Street in Panama City. The one with the white building is The News-Herald. Total devastation. #HurricaneMichael #PanamaCity pic.twitter.com/EyGUH9nRHx
— Renee (@ReneeWatson68) October 11, 2018
The Panama City printing press where @nwfdailynews and @The_News_Herald prints its newspapers was severely damaged during Hurricane Michael. We’re currently printing out of Montgomery, Ala. Your newspaper deliveries will be affected—we’re working on it, please be patient. 📰 pic.twitter.com/yMI5lNRlwZ
— Annie Blanks (@DailyNewsAnnie) October 11, 2018
In Florida, several politicians have suspended their campaigns as they work to help residents. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democratic candidate for Florida governor is among them.
— Lawrence Mower (@lmower3) October 11, 2018
CNN also reports:
Due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Michael in Florida, CNN, in agreement with both campaigns, is postponing the Florida Senate debate between Sen. Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott. A date and time for the rescheduled debate will be announced soon.