Hurricane Michael left a trail of devastation along a huge swathe of the Florida Panhandle. Emergency responders weren't able to get there in time to save her, thanks to the debris clogging the roads.
A resident surveys the scattered belongings at a damaged home after Hurricane Michael hit in Panama City, Fla. The sky cleared on Thursday, in contrast to the torrential rain of the previous day. The lead-gray water was so high that roofs were about all that could be seen of many homes.
Based on its internal barometric pressure, Michael was the third most powerful hurricane to hit the USA mainland, behind the unnamed Labor Day storm of 1935 and Camille in 1969.
An 11-year-old girl in Georgia also died when Michael's winds picked up a carport and dropped it through the roof of her grandparents' home. The area is known for its small coastal towns and wildlife reserves.
Tropical storm conditions are occurring over portions of central and eastern SC and will spread northward over central and eastern North Carolina this afternoon and evening. "We had the inside windows kind of barricaded in with mattresses", Beu said.
Florida governor Rick Scott said: "This morning, Florida's Gulf Coast and Panhandle and the Big Bend are waking up to unimaginable destruction". An 80-mile stretch of Interstate 10, the main east-west route along the Panhandle, was closed because of debris.
Those numbers are added to the 350,000 accounts without power in Florida, and more than 160,000 in Georgia.
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Diane Farris, 57, and her son walked to a high school-turned-shelter near their Panama City home, where about 1,100 people crammed into a space meant for about half as many. Last year, they welcomed children who were displaced by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The second floor of some apartments are just gone. The wind speed increased 45 miles per hour in just 24 hours, representing a leap from Category 1 to Category 4 - and the storm wasn't done intensifying.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned of possible flash flooding Thursday in parts of Georgia, the Carolinas and southeastern Virginia because of heavy rains from Michael.
Sam Porter, who serves as the national director for disaster relief with the Southern Baptist Convention North American Mission Board - says that even those doing the Lord's work face challenges, at times. SC set up 11 emergency shelters in anticipation of floods and tornadoes from Michael.
We're sending positive thoughts to the Gulf Coast and others in Micheal's path.
Twenty miles south of Mexico Beach, floodwaters were more than 7 feet deep near Apalachicola, a town of about 2,300 residents, hurricane center chief Ken Graham said. Wind damage was also evident. Officials at the Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City said dozens of trees and power lines went down, and several buildings lost their roofs across the military base. "Insurers with the largest market shares in US states to be hit by Hurricane Michael have considerable exposures, but these are manageable given each company's overall policyholder surplus".
Long after landfall, Hurricane Michael's impact was still being felt along the Florida coast and much further inland, and the recovery process is going to be long and hard for those who lost homes and property to Michael's devastating winds and water.