Published: Tue, October 16, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Trump Gets Helicopter View of Hurricane-Hit Florida Panhandle

Trump Gets Helicopter View of Hurricane-Hit Florida Panhandle

Rick Scott (right) and President Trump walk over to speak with reporters after arriving on Monday at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida to visit areas affected by Hurricane Michael.

Flying in the Marine One presidential helicopter over Mexico Beach, one of the towns worst hit by the Category 4 storm, Trump surveyed uprooted trees, rows of roofless homes, some of them torn from their foundations, downed water towers and a parking lot where 18-wheel trucks had been scattered like children's toys. And water can be very damaging, and scary, when you see water rising 14 or 15 feet.

The president added that his main goal is to make sure that residents in Florida and Georgia are safe and being taken care of.

Hope that more people will be found alive is fading in the Florida Panhandle, according to USA officials.

They also evacuated 50 to 100 people in a Lynn Haven neighborhood after discovering a gas leak while searching for victims.

Many trees were ripped out of the ground, and a number of roofs had holes torn in them by the storm's strong winds. With Scott standing alongside him, Trump said: "You're a great governor".

"Every time I've called, he's come through", Scott said of Trump. "Some of them have no trace of a home ... so our big thing is feeding, water and safety".

More than 1,700 search and rescue workers were deployed, Florida Governor Rick Scott's office said, including seven swift-water rescue teams and almost 300 ambulances.

Meanwhile, Sen. Bill Nelson said Tyndall Air Force Base on the Panhandle was heavily damaged, but he promised it would be rebuilt.

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Insured losses for wind and storm surge from Hurricane Michael will run between an estimated $6 billion and $10 billion, risk modeler AIR Worldwide said.

Florida and Georgia have been witnessing the barbarous consequences of Hurricane Michael that knocked into Florida on Wednesday.

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump are touring parts of Florida and Georgia that have been devastated by Hurricane Michael, as hundreds of thousands of residents remain without electricity and a long, slow recovery effort is underway.

Already at least 18 deaths in four states have been blamed on the hurricane as rescue crews using cadaver dogs and heavy equipment searched through collapsed homes in small towns such as Mexico Beach and Panama City for more victims.

The death toll from Michael's destructive march from Florida to Virginia stood at 17, with just one confirmed death in Mexico Beach.

Cathey said 46 people who had not evacuated remained unaccounted for on Sunday.

Four days after the storm struck, a large swath of the Panhandle was suffering, from little beach towns to the larger Panama City to rural communities miles from where the hurricane came ashore. Homeowners were advised to keep toilet flushes to a minimum because the sewer system was operating only at half capacity. Officials said it could be weeks before power returns to the most-damaged areas.

"The amount of stress that people are in, not just from losing everything, but not having phones, power, food, water, puts a huge toll on the emotional factor of people stuck in these houses", Lewis said. Trump approved emergency disaster declarations for several states across the south-east in the wake of the hurricane, ordering federal aid to assist with local recovery efforts.

The president also traveling to Georgia, where he participated in a briefing in Macon with federal and state officials.

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