The death toll from Michael's destructive march from Florida to Virginia stood at 17, with just one confirmed death so far in this Florida Panhandle town of about 1,000 people that took a direct hit from the hurricane and its 155 miles per hour winds last week.
The devastation left by Hurricane Michael in several states is still coming into focus, with coastal Florida cities destroyed beyond recognition, and homes, businesses and agriculture torn or swamped inland from Georgia to Virginia.
"There are individuals who are deceased".
Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban, leader of a search-and-rescue unit that entered the devastated community, said: "We have one confirmed deceased and are working to determine if there are others".
"Basically everything has shut down", he said, adding that there are "too many people on the same service".
Of the 17 killed in the storm, eight were located in Florida.
Boats lay among the debris from homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael (Chris O'Meara/AP) A bedroom of a destroyed house is pictured following Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida, U.S., October 11, 2018. Jackson County Emergency Management Agency Director Rodney Andreasen said one of the fatalities in Jackson County occurred when a man was struck by a tree in Alford. Grocery stores and gas stations in the hardest hit areas remain closed.
On Saturday, emergency crews will continue descending into the coastal cities in the Panhandle, like Mexico Beach, that were wiped out and will try to reach remote areas that were isolated by downed trees and power poles.
"My job is to keep our community safe and ensure Tallahassee recovers as quickly and fully as possible". The destruction in Bay County has largely been from wind damage, as opposed to the flooding during Katrina. "Everything's gone. I didn't even know our road was our road", said Tiffany Marie Plushnik, 25, an evacuee who returned to find her home in Sandy Creek too damaged to live in. "Literally overnight it went from a Category 1 or 2 to a Category 4, nearly borderline 5". This is pretty extensive, the damage.
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Long urged communities such as Mexico Beach, where many homes were obliterated by 12 to 14 feet (3.7 to 4.3 meters) of storm surge, to rebuild to withstand future storms.
With a low barometric pressure recorded at 919 millibars, a measure of a hurricane's force, Michael was the third strongest storm on record to hit the continental United States, behind only Hurricane Camille on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1969 and the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 in the Florida Keys.
The deaths in Virginia include four people who drowned in separate incidents, said Mr. Northam.
Mishelle McPherson's elderly neighbour was among those who stayed behind.
The death toll across the South stood at 13, not counting any victims in Mexico Beach. Officials said they expect the temporary hospital to be able to offer a full range of medical services for a year.
"I told him, 'Hold on, just hold on, I'm calling for help now, '" she told CNN affiliate WFTS on Thursday, sobbing.
In Hanover County, a firefighter died and four others were injured, including three seriously, after a tractor trailer crashed into them as they tried to help with another crash involving two vehicles along Interstate 295 outside Mechanicsville, Va.
"I chose to stay because my family made a decision to evacuate, but the pets had to stay here", Panama City resident John Pandullo said.