Search-and-rescue effort continues as Hurricane Michael death toll rises

14


The death toll from Hurricane Michael climbed to 14 Friday as officials in Virginia reported five fatalities tied to the storm that struck the Florida Panhandle before cutting a path of destruction up the Southeast.

Michael has weakened to a post-tropical cyclone over the Atlantic, but officials warned the death toll would likely increase.

The search-and-rescue effort continued Friday night in Florida communities hit hardest by the hurricane as an official leading the effort said at least one body was found in Mexico Beach on the Gulf coast.

Miami fire chief Joseph Zahralban said searchers found the storm victim among the devastation in Mexico Beach and surrounding Bay County.

Rescue teams said they had wrapped up their initial rapid searches and had completed 40 percent of more-intense secondary searches including inspecting collapsed buildings.

They hope to finish during daylight hours Saturday.

But Florida Gov. Rick Scott said officials still “do not know enough” about the fate of those who did not evacuate.

Linda Marquardt and her husband managed to survive when Michael’s eye passed directly over their Mexico Beach home, which was inundated by surging water as 155 mph winds obliterated much of the city.

“All of my furniture was floating,” said Marquardt, 67. “A river just started coming down the road. It was awful, and now there’s just nothing left.”

Spread the love
SHARE