How North Texans can help Hurricane Michael victims

Hurricane Michael Slams Into Florida's Panhandle Region

Searchers on Friday uncovered the first body in the rubble of the Florida town of Mexico Beach, which was almost obliterated by Hurricane Michael, as the toll from the historic storm rose to at least 18 and was expected to climb further.

Families living along the Panhandle are now faced with a struggle to survive in a perilous landscape of shattered homes and shopping centres, the storm debris spread far and wide. - The coastal community of Mexico Beach.

Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban, leader of a search-and-rescue unit that went into the flattened town, said: "We have one confirmed deceased and are working to determine if there are others". "We have to wait for our assessment to be completed before we can say how many are missing", said Uganda Red Cross spokeswoman Irene Nakasiita.

More than 900,000 homes and businesses in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas are without power in the wake of Hurricane Michael.

"I expect the fatality count to climb today and tomorrow", Brock Long, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), told CNN.

Zahralban said searchers were trying to determine if that person had been alone or was part of a family.

US Gulf of Mexico producers have cut oil output by 32 per cent and natural gas output by 13 per cent due to lingering effects of Michael, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said on Friday, citing reports from 27 companies.

FEMA crews also used drone aircraft and global positioning satellites in their search.

The Florida National Guard has deployed 3,500 members for search-and-rescue and humanitarian aid, with assistance from National Guard units from as far away as NY and Kansas.

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The images, released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, show severe damage in Mexico Beach, Florida, which took an nearly direct hit from one of the most powerful storms to make landfall on the USA mainland. It pushed a wall of seawater inland, causing widespread flooding.

Except for the emergency-911 system, authorities in Bay County, the epicenter of the disaster, were virtually without telephone or internet service until late in the day on Friday, making communications internally and with the public hard.

Hurricane Michael all but erased the tiny community of Mexico Beach on Florida's Gulf Coast, reducing some homes to mere concrete slabs and leaving others in shreds. U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 1st Class Colin Hunt/Handout via REUTERS.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper had previously said a man died when a tree fell on his vehicle in Iredell County. "America is always at our best when we look out for each other", he wrote. "We're doing what we can with the minimal media that we have". "This is obviously the worst", said Stephanie Palmer, a FEMA firefighter and rescuer from Coral Springs, Florida. Search teams were going door-to-door looking for victims.

Storm damage is seen after Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Florida on October 10, 2018.

On the left, as we walk, there's a mattress slumped at the roadside, on the right a Dean Noontz novel lies in the dirt.

By early Friday morning, the fast-moving storm was about 65 miles (105km) north-east of Norfolk, Virginia, with top sustained winds of 60mph (95kph), the US National Hurricane Center said.

The worst hit areas of Florida's northwest coast saw houses ripped from their foundations, trees felled, and power lines strewn across streets.

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