Michael de­stroys

Geelong Advertiser - - WORLD -

SEARCH and res­cue teams have be­gun comb­ing through shat­tered US com­mu­ni­ties look­ing for vic­tims of Hur­ri­cane Michael, a Cat­e­gory 4 mon­ster storm that carved out a swathe of de­struc­tion in the Flor­ida Pan­han­dle, killing at least six in three states.

Mex­ico Beach was hit headon by Hur­ri­cane Michael. Nu­mer­ous homes in the small Gulf Coast com­mu­nity of about 1190 peo­ple were shat­tered or ripped from their foun­da­tions.

The streets clos­est to the wa­ter looked as if a bomb had gone off. What the 2.7m storm surge didn’t de­stroy, the 250km/h winds fin­ished off.

Now, res­cuers and res­i­dents are strug­gling to get into the ground-zero town to as­sess the dam­age and search for the hun­dreds of peo­ple be­lieved to have stayed be­hind.

Flor­ida Gover­nor Rick Scott said the storm had caused “un­be­liev­able dev­as­ta­tion” and the pri­or­ity for the mo­ment was look­ing for sur­vivors among res­i­dents who failed to heed or­ders to evac­u­ate.

Michael has since been down­graded to a trop­i­cal storm as it moves through the Caroli­nas, which are still re­cov­er­ing from last month’s Hur­ri­cane Florence.

FLAT­TENED: Homes de­stroyed by Hur­ri­cane Michael in Mex­ico Beach, Flor­ida.

Tamiya Wal­don looks out at the dam­age to her neigh­bor­hood.

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