Hur­ri­cane Michael leaves chaos in its wake

14 dead as his­toric storm moves back to At­lantic

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - FRONT PAGE - From Staff Re­ports USA TO­DAY

One of the most pow­er­ful hur­ri­canes in Amer­i­can his­tory has moved off land, leav­ing a trail of de­struc­tion.

Michael made land­fall Wed­nes­day in the Florida Pan­han­dle as a Cat­e­gory 4 hur­ri­cane with 155 mph winds. When mea­sured by its baro­met­ric pres­sure, Michael was the third­strongest hur­ri­cane to make land­fall in the USA. High winds, rains and flash flood­ing were felt across mul­ti­ple states, as far north as Vir­ginia.

“So many lives have been changed for­ever. So many fam­i­lies have lost ev­ery­thing,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said, call­ing it “unimag­in­able de­struc­tion.” Here’s what we know Fri­day:

Where the storm is now: Michael moved off the East Coast early Fri­day morn­ing and into the At­lantic Ocean as a post-trop­i­cal storm.

Power out­ages: Nearly 1.1 mil­lion cus­tomers across five states were with­out power at 5:30 p.m. Fri­day, ac­cord­ing to Pow­erOu­tage.US.

Dam­age: In Panama City, most homes were still stand­ing, but no prop­erty was left un­dam­aged. Downed power lines and twisted street signs lay all around. Alu­minum sid­ing was shred­ded, and homes were split by fallen trees. The hur­ri­cane dam­aged four hos­pi­tals and 11 nurs­ing homes in Florida, and of­fi­cials worked to evac­u­ate hun­dreds of pa­tients. All hos­pi­tals and nurs­ing homes re­mained open in Ge­or­gia.

An in­sur­ance com­pany that pro­duces mod­els for catas­tro­phes es­ti­mated Michael caused about $8 bil­lion in dam­age. Bos­ton-based Karen Clark & Com­pany re­leased that es­ti­mate Thurs­day, which in­cludes pri­vately in­sured wind and storm-surge dam­age to res­i­den­tial, com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial prop­er­ties and ve­hi­cles. It doesn’t in­clude losses cov­ered by the Na­tional Flood In­sur­ance Pro­gram.

Of­fi­cials warned Fri­day that it was not safe for res­i­dents of Bay County and Mex­ico Beach, Florida, to re­turn home. Tyn­dall Air Force Base sus­tained sig­nif­i­cant dam­age; Col. Brian Laid­law told the 3,600 men and women sta­tioned there not to come back.

❚ Death toll: Four­teen peo­ple have been re­ported killed across five states.

Steve Sweet, 44, was killed in Gads­den County, Florida, near the state bor­der with Ge­or­gia, when a tree fell into his home. Au­thor­i­ties an­nounced four to­tal fa­tal­i­ties in Gads­den County on Thurs­day.

Sarah Rad­ney, 11, who was vis­it­ing her grand­par­ents in Semi­nole County, Ge­or­gia, was killed when a por­ta­ble car­port broke through the house and struck her in the head. Ge­or­gia au­thor­i­ties con­firmed there was one other death in the state.

The Hanover County Fire-EMS Depart­ment said Fire Lt. Brad Clark died re­spond­ing to a crash north of Rich­mond, Vir­ginia, as Michael lashed the state. Four other vic­tims in Vir­ginia died by drown­ing, ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of Emer­gency Man­age­ment.

A driver in Ire­dell County, North Carolina, was killed Thurs­day when a tree fell on his car. A man and a woman also died in McDow­ell County, North Carolina, when their car crashed into a fallen tree.

❚ Res­cues and re­cov­ery: The U.S. Coast Guard had res­cued about 129 peo­ple and one an­i­mal as of 2 p.m. Fri­day and as­sisted 232 oth­ers, in­clud­ing 142 nurs­ing home pa­tients, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment. The Red Cross sent 1,000 trained dis­as­ter per­son­nel to help vic­tims of the storm, with 48 mo­bile feed­ing units that can each pro­vide 1,500 meals a day.


A bi­cy­clist rides past a downed traf­fic light in Panama City, Fla., af­ter Hur­ri­cane Michael tore through.

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