Hurricane Michael Death Toll Jumps to 12

 

Authorities say at least 12 people have been killed after Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle with 155-mph winds, leaving behind a trail of destruction that rescue crews are desperately digging through in the hope of finding survivors. 

One of the fiercest storms to strike the United States, Hurricane Michael came ashore as a Category 4 storm in Mexico Beach Wednesday bringing with it a ton of flooding, hurricane force winds and plenty of rain, devastating much of the coast dotted by small communities. 

At least 1.5 million customers are still without power in states including Florida, Virginia and Georgia. Damage is still unknown in some of the hardest hit areas because of roads being blocked by debris or water. One 80-mile stretch of I-10 was closed because of the storm, officials said. 

The Gadsden County Sheriff's Office at least four people were killed in Gadsen County by Hurricane Michael, including a man in Greensboro, who died after a tree crashed down on his home. An 11-year-old girl in Georgia was also killed Wednesday afternoon after a carport was torn away and sent shooting into a modular home where she was staying in southwest Georgia WMAT-TV reported.  

Another seven people were killed in Virginia, including one firefighter who was responding to an emergency call. 

Some of the hardest hit places in Florida have yet to report any fatalities, with officials saying they hope to find survivors in the disaster zone. 

 

In addition to rescue crews combing through wreckage, officials are also working to find a way to get food and water to people who are still located in the Florida Panhandle. 

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said officials were "working aggressively" to get supplies to families in need. "Food and water commodities are being air dropped into the hardest hit communities, and law enforcement are escorting resources on the road," Scott wrote on Twitter. 

Scott also said the state was currently undertaking a large-scale power restoration effort for communities located in the disaster zone. At least 200 generators were being provided for each county to help local governments get back up and running, Scott said. 

 

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