Girl, 11, killed when carport flew into grandparents’ home during Hurricane Michael

Jason lives in Panama City Florida and stayed during the hurricane

Six Florida counties remain under curfews, as work crews try to push debris off of roads so utility and emergency crews can start to fix the damage and reach people who need help.

"You can't drive a auto anywhere, you can't do anything because it's littered with houses, pieces of houses", said Patricia Mulligan, who rode out the storm with her family in a condo in Mexico Beach, a town of mom-and-pop shops and sportfishing businesses about 35 miles southeast of Panama City. Rescuers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency used dogs, drones and Global Positioning System in the search.

In terms of damage the most costly year was 2017, when besides the Caribbean several USA coastal states were hit by powerful hurricanes that moved slowly and dumped record rainful for days.

FEMA crews have been using bulldozers and other heavy equipment to push a path through debris to allow rescuers to probe the rubble with sniffer dogs as drone aircraft and Blackhawk helicopters searched from above.

Haley Nelson inspects damages to her family properties in the Panama City, Fla., spring field area after Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida's Panhandle on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.br / The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm. It pushed a wall of seawater inland and caused widespread flooding. Michael grew from a tropical storm into a Category 4 hurricane over the course of about 40 hours.

Bay County was one of 22 in Florida that issued orders urging about 375,000 residents to evacuate ahead of the storm.

Gov. Rick Scott announced afterward that thousands of law enforcement officers, utility crews and search and rescue teams would now go into recovery mode.

WGNO's Jason Disharoon joined The Hurricane Hunters, formally known as the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squad, for an incredible ride straight through the heart of Hurricane Michael.

"We lost our dock". She's desperate for news about the condition of her home, but she can't reach anyone, she says. "All these electrical poles and water lines are busted". Up to a foot (30 cm) of rain was forecast in Florida.

Another storm chaser, Mark Sudduth, tweeted: "Drove from Panama City nearly to Mexico Beach and I can tell you this is the worst damage from wind that I have ever seen!"

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Authorities have attributed one death to the storm after a tree fell on a man in the Florida capital Tallahassee.

"Pine forests were no longer - they were all sticks that were broken in two", Nelson, a Democrat, told Fox News.

Television news footage showed homes submerged in floodwaters up to their roofs in Mexico Beach.

The storm is expected to steadily weaken as it crosses the southeastern U.S. Its maximum sustained winds have decreased to 50 miles per hour.

In addition to the 11-year-old, five other victims were killed in Florida and one in North Carolina, according to USA Today.

Those numbers are added to the 350,000 accounts without power in Florida, and more than 160,000 in Georgia. Duke Energy reported Thursday at least 31,000 customers are without power in the Panhandle.

"It's OK if you want to live on the coast or on top of a mountain that sees wildfires or whatever but you have to build to a higher standard", he said.

As of 11 pm Thursday, Michael's core was located about 15 miles north-northeast of Norfolk, Virginia, and was moving northeast at 25 mph, according to the National Hurricane Centre (NHC).

The kittens eventually made their way to the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society, or PAWS shelter, in Fort Walton, where they are now adoptable, Marciano said in a tweet.

The Coast Guard said it rescued at least 27 people before and after the hurricane's landfall, mostly from coastal homes.

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