Hurricane Michael Devastates Florida Panhandle

The Category 4 storm Hurricane Michael left thousands of people devastated throughout the Carolinas, as well as other states including Florida, Georgia and Virginia, where the 155 mile-per-hour winds destroyed homes and, in many cases, the lives of those living in the affected areas. The hurricane reached North Carolina on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 and according to statistics posted by CNN, over 30 million people were under a hurricane watch or warning as well as a tropical storm watch or warning in some areas.

Hurricane Michael is reported to be the first Category 4 storm to hit the Florida panhandle and images of cities such as Panama City are plastered on news stories to show the debris that has been left in wake of the storm. Until Oct. 12, CNN continued to post updates online to track Hurricane Michael’s path of destruction as well as videos and images of the destruction. In one update, CNN published remarks made by the U.S. Senator for Florida, Marco Rubio (R) who stated “Look, this is as bad as it gets,” referencing the flooding and damage to nearby homes. “It is hard to envision it worse than this.”

Downed trees, extreme flooding and property damage are serious concerns for those affected after Hurricane Michael moved along Florida upwards into the Virginia and Maryland region. In Burkeville, Virginia, an image was posted online of a small bridge after the structure collapsed after taking a beating from the storm’s powerful winds and torrential downpour. Vehicle accidents involving Hurricane Michael’s journey have also been reported and in an incident in North Carolina, two car accidents occurred within moments of each other because of a tree that had been blown over by strong winds and suddenly fell into the roadway.

Along with the destruction that comes along with many tropical storms, five tornadoes were also reported in five Virginia counties along with “300 traffic crashes and 230 calls for blocked roads and high water” being called in, according to the Virginia State Police. Search and rescue teams have been put together across several states to continue looking for individuals who may be trapped under rubble from collapsed houses or other dangerous situations.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced disaster assistance for victims of the hurricane after Florida sustained severe weather damage to help those affected get back on their feet. Many communities are slowly returning to their former homes to find buildings without roofs, lacking windows or walls as well as no electricity. However, since Hurricane Michael has passed through, many areas have already begun doing necessary construction and other services such as Tallahassee, which began reopening businesses and restoring electricity the Friday following the storm. Communities that have been badly affected are working together to rebuild morale as well as physical items that may have been damaged in the storm.

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