Massachusetts Team To Aid With Hurricane Recovery In Florida

Hurricane Michael update: at least 13 killed, including firefighter as crews search for survivors

A Florida town has been almost wiped off the map and at least six people are dead after Hurricane Michael tore through the Florida Panhandle, Georgia and the Carolinas.

State officials say almost 300 people in Mexico Beach ignored mandatory evacuation orders, but it is unclear if they were able to get out at the last minute.

Authorities have set up distribution centers to dole out food and water to victims, who just were coming to grips with the brutal realities of their situation.

The Sea Fighter, a high-speed ship with a catamaran design, was first launched by the U.S. Navy but now serves as a Panama City-based platform for researchers as a vessel of the Office of Naval Research.

It warned of damaging winds and possible flash flooding in North Carolina and states just to the north and said the storm was still packing winds of 50 miles per hour.

The future of thousands of students also remains unclear. A year ago, the school welcomed students and families displaced by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. "There's nothing normal about where we are right now", Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt told CNN affiliate WMBB.

Some residents were packing up and getting as far away as they could. Adults have been scared but imagine those little hearts.

Of the 17 killed in the storm, eight were located in Florida.

Authorities have warned that the storm's death toll was likely to climb as they were able to head into the areas - such as Mexico Beach, Florida - that endured particular damage this week.

How many others were not so fortunate was still not clear.

Nearby Panama City Beach experienced similar damage along with other communities along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico.

The fire department has received more than 200 calls for checks on residents and Baird said it could take days or weeks before they complete them.

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) said about 800 of its customers were still without power on Saturday morning, with most outages remaining in Essex, King and Queen, and King William counties, where the storm damage was most severe.

Search teams used dogs for people killed or trapped in debris, including in hardest-hit Mexico Beach.

According to Reuters, "teams consisting mostly of off-duty police officers and firefighters have found more than 520 of the 2,100 people reported missing" since the hurricane hit. "Everybody. And their jobs", Mexico City Beach resident Emily Hansen told CBN News.

So far, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said more than 25,000 structures have been cleared by Urban Search and Rescue teams and almost 1,800 emergency personnel are on the ground.

Margaret Decambre, a 48-year-old gemologist, rode out the storm in her Panama City fourth-floor condo with her husband and three cats.

Images out of the Florida panhandle show utter devastation after Michael tore through trees and homes.

South Florida urban search and rescue specialist Chris Boyer removes a damaged American flag from a downed pole while checking for for survivors of hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Fla.

The storm left a trail of destruction before it reached Virginia on Thursday.

"Hopefully they (emergency crews) will be here soon".

"Hopefully they (emergency crews) will be here soon, I'm not going anywhere until they bring him out", she said.

At least seven people were killed by falling trees and other hurricane-related incidents in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, according to state officials.

Six people died in Virginia.

The deployment follows a request made through the interstate Emergency Management Assistance Compact.

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