Official says bodies found in Mexico Beach

Benny Hobson 69 sits in what is left of his home in Panama City Florida

Benny Hobson 69 sits in what is left of his home in Panama City Florida

More than 1.5 million homes and businesses on the U.S. East Coast were without power on Friday as Hurricane Michael and its remnants marched from Florida to Virginia, according to local power companies.

"We'll have to bulldoze and start over", Linda Marquardt, of Mexico Beach, said of her mud-filled home. "It's like a war zone".

Mexico Beach, a gorgeous beachfront city, now looks like an apocalyptic mess, according to survivors.

"I think you're going to see it climb", Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said of the death count.

Conditions remain precarious in hard hit areas, especially Mexico Beach, Florida, which Michael left in ruins.

A Mexico Beach resident who rode out the hurricane described the impact of the storm surge to CNN. "So many people lost their homes and some people lost their lives".

State officials said Mexico Beach was under mandatory evacuation orders but some residents chose to stay and try to ride out the storm.

"You could tell they were flummoxed", Phil Klotzbach, research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, said Thursday.

The Sunshine State suffered the brunt of Hurricane Michael's punishing winds, which decimated beach towns and left little more than debris in their wake.

"I was going to stay here until it turned to a Cat 4", he said.

Numerous beach's residents followed evacuation orders.

Jordon Tood, 31, a charter boat captain in Port St. Joe, said: "There were mandatory evacuation orders, but only idiots like us stuck around". "I've got two trees on the roof and a couple of holes on the roof".

"It's insane. I'm way too stubborn for my own good". This was her dream retirement place she tells me - the last four years spent doing it up.

A flash flood watch was in effect for much of the Tri-State through 6 a.m. Friday.

As of Friday, a total of 11 people have died in storm-related deaths in Florida, Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina.

Brad Kieserman of the American Red Cross told reporters that the number of people in emergency shelters was expected to reach 20,000 across five states by Friday. Michael's outer bands still could drop up to 3 inches of rain from New Jersey to Long Island to Cape Cod, and up to 5 inches over the MA islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard through Friday afternoon, forecasters said.

He said the state "saw some powerful rushing waters yesterday", adding that first responders rescued almost 100 people and evacuated many more affected by flash flooding.

President Donald Trump announced plans to visit Florida and hard-hit Georgia early next week but did not say what day he would arrive. That's why we talk about: Make sure you know how to use generator.

Mexico Beach, Florida, in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, on Oct 12, 2018.

Hurricane Michael brings widespread damage and destruction to the Florida Panhandle; Mike Tobin reports.

About 5,000 U.S. servicemen were deployed to help with relief and recovery efforts, the Pentagon said, using 100 helicopters and 1,800 high-water vehicles.

The Category 4 storm also rocked Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City, Florida, likely damaging several aircraft, possibly even the US Air Force's prized F-22 Raptors.

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