Death toll rises as work­ers look for hur­ri­cane sur­vivors.

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Russ Bynum and Bren­dan Far­ring­ton Russ Bynum and Bren­dan Far­ring­ton are As­so­ci­ated Press writ­ers.

MEX­ICO BEACH, Fla. — Flor­ida au­thor­i­ties fielded a bar­rage of calls about peo­ple miss­ing in Hur­ri­cane Michael’s af­ter­math as searc­hand-res­cue teams Fri­day made their way through rav­aged neigh­bor­hoods, look­ing for vic­tims dead or alive.

The num­ber of dead is ex­pected to rise, but au­thor­i­ties scrapped plans for set­ting up a tem­po­rary morgue, in­di­cat­ing they had yet to see signs of mass ca­su­al­ties from the most pow­er­ful hur­ri­cane to hit the con­ti­nen­tal U.S. in nearly 50 years.

Search-and-res­cue teams found at least one body in Mex­ico Beach, the groundzero town of about 1,000 peo­ple that was nearly wiped off the map when Michael blew ashore on Wed­nes­day with dev­as­tat­ing 155 mph winds.

The death toll across the South stood at 14 in­clud­ing the vic­tim dis­cov­ered in Mex­ico Beach.

Gov. Rick Scott said state of­fi­cials still “do not know enough” about the fate of those who stayed be­hind in the re­gion. “We are not com­pletely done. We are still get­ting down there,” the gover­nor added.

Flor­ida emer­gency of­fi­cials say they have res­cued nearly 200 peo­ple and checked 25,000 struc­tures.

In a brief­ing at the state emer­gency op­er­a­tions cen­ter in Tal­la­has­see on Fri­day evening, au­thor­i­ties said they had wrapped up their ini­tial rapid searches and had be­gun more-in­tense searches in­clud­ing in­spect­ing col­lapsed build­ings.

The of­fi­cials say they’ve com­pleted 40 per­cent of these “sec­ondary” searches and hope to fin­ish up dur­ing day­light hours on Satur­day.

Shell-shocked sur­vivors who barely es­caped with their lives told of ter­ri­fy­ing winds, surg­ing flood­wa­ters and homes crack­ing like eggs.

Of­fi­cials set up dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ters to pass out food and wa­ter to vic­tims. Some sup­plies were brought in by trucks, while oth­ers had to be de­liv­ered by he­li­copter be­cause some roads have yet to be cleared.

The deaths were spread through­out the storm’s vast path, from Flor­ida to Vir­ginia, where at least four peo­ple drowned in flood­ing caused by Michael’s rainy rem­nants. Two died in North Carolina when a car smashed into a fallen tree.

On the Pan­han­dle, Tyn­dall Air Force Base “took a beat­ing,” so much so that Col. Brian Laid­law told the 3,600 men and women sta­tioned on the base not to come back yet.

Mark Wall­heiser / Getty Im­ages

An aerial view shows how Hur­ri­cane Michael oblit­er­ated dozens of homes and busi­nesses in Mex­ico Beach, Fla. At least 14 peo­ple have been killed through­out the storm’s vast path.

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