At least 30 deaths and 1,337 people still missing after Hurricane Michael
FURY. Overall at least 30 deaths have been blamed on Michael, according to official counts while the search continues to find more than 1,300 people.
The death toll from Michael's march from Florida to Virginia stood at 30, and the search for victims continued. People are struggling to locate friends and loved ones who haven’t been heard from.
Rescuers said Tuesday more than 1,300 people in the Florida Panhandle have not officially been accounted for. Disaster victims multiply calls on social networks, especially on Facebook to find missing relatives.
Disaster declaration for 15 counties
President Donald Trump, accompanied by the First Lady Melania, visited the some of the most devastated areas in Florida and Georgia on Monday. He made a disaster declaration for six Georgia counties, which followed the same in nine Florida counties.
Michael hit a week ago as a Category 4 storm uprooting trees, tearing through homes and flooding neighborhoods.
As the hurricane closed in and more than 375,000 people were warned to evacuate, emergency authorities expressed frustration that many residents weren’t leaving.
A Houston-based organization called CrowdSource Rescue that formed last year when Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, connects volunteer rescuers with worried family members using mapping and dispatching technology.
The group said it has open cases for 800 missing adults, 141 children and 396 elderly for a total of 1,337 people. Crews have already helped find nearly 1,500 across the region since Michael struck.
Lack of electricity is another problem in north Florida. Utility officials said nearly 117,000 customers still have no power. In Georgia, that figure is 28,000 and Virginia, 11,000.
Impact on the political landscape
The terrible storm may also have an impact on the political landscape. Florida Gov. Rick Scott was asked by county election officials to help workers cope with damage to polling places that will be used in next month's midterm elections.
Thanks a huge impulse of solidarity and mutual help, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it’s provided 715,000 meals and 1.5 million liters of water per day in Florida -- and transferred more than 350,000 meals to Georgia.
"More than 16,000 federal employees, including over 8,000 military personnel have been deployed to support Hurricane Michael response efforts," reports FEMA.
"Since Michael's landfall, search and rescue teams from FEMA, the U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard and others, working alongside state responders and volunteers, have completed 110 evacuations, 4,193 rescues/assists, 15,287 shelter in place checks, and 128 animal assists."
Emergency officials said that because of widespread cellphone outages, others could be safe and just haven’t been able to tell friends or family.
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