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People Are Missing From Florida Town Hit By Hurricane Michael

16 October 2018
People Are Missing From Florida Town Hit By Hurricane Michael

Israeli humanitarian NGO IsraAID is preparing to deploy an emergency response team to northwest Florida, which has suffered brutal devastation from Hurricane Michael since it made landfall on Wednesday.

There was just one confirmed death so far in Mexico Beach, the town of about 1,000 people that was almost wiped off the map in a direct hit from the hurricane and its 155 miles per hour (250 kph) winds.

Hurricane Michael made landfall on October 10, 2018, at Mexico Beach on Florida's panhandle.

"I'm very hopeful that everybody is going to be found alive and that everybody is going to survive this", Scott said.

"I will not recall you and your families until we can guarantee your safety".

Since Thursday, 17,000 utility workers have arrived to rebuild and fix the crippled infrastructure, and 2000 cellphone company workers and 18,000 search-and-rescue personnel have arrived in the region, joining 4000 Florida National Guard troops and multitudes of police and firefighters. Almost 2,000 law-enforcement officials have been sent into the Panhandle.

But the most fatalities happened in Florida, where eight people were killed - including Steven Sweet, who died when an oak tree fell on his Gretna home.

One mother in Callaway, just northeast of Panama City, says she and her children have not a hot meal since the storm hit.

The storm has also interrupted Florida's busy campaign season, with candidates prioritizing storm recovery efforts over campaigning. "They might have lost their house". "Every piece of property, if it isn't, you know, got have something wrong with it, it's leveled".

"Some of them have no trace of a home", Trump said.

"If we don't get no help ... we'll be living under a bridge somewhere".

Contributors in Florida include Associated Press writers Russ Bynum in Mexico Beach, Brendan Farrington in Panama City, Gary Fineout in Tallahassee and AP Photographer Gerald Herbert in Panama City.

U.S. President Donald Trump surveyed the damage from Hurricane Michael and met with survivors on Monday, saying food and housing were the top priorities for those hit in Florida's storm-ravaged Panhandle.

"We need a generator, but we just lack transportation", Hughes said on her front porch.

"Some were more fortunate than others".

On Sunday, officials in Florida confirmed that another body had been recovered in Mexico Beach.

Scott greeted Trump upon his arrival at Eglin Air Force Base near Valparaiso. "We're getting things done pretty quick", Kremeier said. Hughes still had her home, but no way to leave it. But with cellphone service out across vast swaths of the Florida Panhandle, officials said it is possible that some of those unaccounted for are safe and just haven't been able to contact friends or family to let them know.

Upon touring the damage in several towns along Florida's Panhandle, Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long called the destruction left by Hurricane Michael some of the worst he's ever seen. They've also set up a triage tent to treat residents stepping on nails and cutting themselves on debris.

President Donald Trump announced plans to visit Florida and hard-hit Georgia early next week but did not say what day he would arrive. On Saturday he approved federal disaster aid relief for four Alabama counties affected by the storm. The White House has not identified the communities Trump will visit. "We are with you!"