Hurricane Michael Live Updates: 13 Deaths in a Vast Trail of Destruction

Hurricane Michael Live Updates: 13 Deaths in a Vast Trail of Destruction

Its gone: Mexico Beach, Fla., left in ruins by Hurricane Michael

CNNs Brooke Baldwin struggled to find the words to describe the devastation left by Hurricane Michael as she flew in a helicopter above Mexico Beach, Fla., on Thursday morning.

Its gone. Its gone, Baldwin said before her cameraman panned to long rows of leveled homes below. Its — its obliterated.

The small beachfront community, located about 40 miles south of Panama City, Fla., was where the Category 4 storm made landfall on Wednesday afternoon with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, just 2 mph below the threshold of Category 5. It was the strongest hurricane ever to hit the Florida Panhandle, and the third strongest ever to strike the U.S. mainland.

Michael, the third most powerful hurricane ever to hit the U.S. mainland, smashed into Floridas northwest coast near the small town of Mexico Beach on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane with 155-mile-per-hour (250-kilometer-per-hour) winds. It left at least 7 dead and tore apart coastal towns.

Photos illustrate extent of devastation in Mexico beach

Good god. This footage from @BrookeBCNN. Mexico Beach, Florida is “gone” after Michael. pic.twitter.com/Fj3l6SYeFZ

Michael brings dangerous winds, flooding in U.S. Mid-Atlantic: NHC

At least two people died in the storm, and federal officials fear the death toll could rise as search and rescue crews begin to assess the damage.

By 8 p.m. (0000 GMT) on Thursday, the storm was located about 5 miles (10 km) northwest of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles-per-hour (85 kph).

Roads to Mexico Beach were virtually impassable, so Baldwin, who spent the night in nearby Destin, Fla., chartered a chopper to get the view from above. Fires could be seen burning in the distance, homes shredded and boats strewn across the town of about 1,100 people.

Another impact lingering into Friday will be flights, with American Airlines canceling its first three flights out of Wilmington International Airport. Gary Broughton, the airport’s deputy director, said the first American flight to depart will be at 7:09 a.m. to Charlotte. As of 4 p.m., Delta planned to announce on a normal schedule and United had not made a final decision.

Michaels death toll rises to 11, including 5 in Virginia

Its just awful to look at, Baldwin told viewers before her feed cut out. It was bad in Panama City Beach, but Ive never seen anything like this … I have no words.

In the state’s southeastern corner, additional winds caused some minor damage, with debris blowing off at least one downtown Wilmington building and the Cape Fear River spilling onto Water Street. Area beaches reported little to no additional damage along beach strands that sustained erosion during Florence.

A Tampa Bay Times reporter and a photojournalist who managed to make it to Mexico Beach on the ground early Thursday described what they saw:

Holden Beach in Brunswick County also sustained minimal damage from Michael’s tides and winds, Mayor Alan Holden said. Holden toured the beach strand about 2 p.m. and said some boardwalks had been washed out on the west end, but the beach had otherwise weathered the storm.

10 a.m. update: Tornado watch issued as Michael threatens NC

Homes completely destroyed. Refrigerators and toilets where the storm left them. Thousands of two-by-fours, chewed up and indecipherable. Refrigerators, toilets, staircases to nowhere and front doors 10 feet up with no way down. The neighborhoods along U.S. 98 looked like a childs playroom after a massive tantrum.

Unlike Florence, which drenched the region while moving as slow as 2 mph, the remnants of Michael moved around or slightly above 20 mph throughout Thursday. The storm’s speed meant limited impact from rain in the Wilmington region.

More than 180,000 people along the Florida Panhandle were under mandatory evacuation orders. And while many heeded those orders, some did not.

Video: Record-breaking hurricane slams Florida Panhandle

At least four survivors were discovered by the Tampa Bay Times reporters, including a woman and a man who were looking for help with their mothers portable oxygen machine.

In anticipation of Michael, Brunswick and New Hanover counties canceled school Thursday, with Brunswick remaining off on Friday. Pender County Schools, which sustained major damage during Florence, remained closed.

Slideshow: Aerial photos show the devastation left in the path of Hurricane Michael >>>

Members of the South Florida Search and Rescue team search for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)  [ +  – ]

“It looks like it’s in good shape,” he said of the beach strand. “We probably lost a little bit of sand, but it’s too early to tell how much.”

Helicopter shows Mexico Beach ravaged by Michael: Its gone

Damaged homes are seen after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the panhandle area with category 4 winds causing major damage. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)  [ +  – ]

About 4,400 Duke Energy customers in New Hanover and 1,400 in Pender county lost power early Thursday afternoon. In Brunswick, 2,280 Brunswick Electric customers were without power.

Damaged homes are seen after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the panhandle area with category 4 winds causing major damage. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

WILMINGTON — Tropical Storm Michael blew in Thursday to a Cape Fear region still recovering from Hurricane Florence and blew out without inflicting much more damage.

Video: Help From South Florida Is On The Way

Jennifer Corbin helps her friend , Cindy Clark (R), salvage what she can from her home that was heavily damaged when Hurricane Michael passed through the area. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

MEXICO BEACH, FL – OCTOBER 11: Cindy Clark salvages what she can from her home that was heavily damaged when Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Michael’s strongest winds in the region included 58 mph in Kure Beach and 54 mph in Oak Island, according to the NWS. Wilmington saw maximum gusts of 53 mph.

Elizabeth Hanson (R) and her daughter, become emotional as they look at their home that was heavily damaged when Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Michael made landfall Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 hurricane, causing catastrophic damage in Mexico Beach and other communities along the Florida Panhandle.

Elizabeth Hanson (R) and her daughter, Emaly Hanson hug their neighbor Cindy Clark as they become emotional after dealing with their homes that were heavily damaged when Michael passed through the area.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

“Speed makes quite a lot of difference in terms of rainfall,” said Victoria Oliva, a meteorologist at the NWS’ Wilmington office.

Michael officially stronger than Katrina at landfall

Elizabeth Hanson (R) and her daughter, Emaly Hanson become emotional as they talk with their neighbor Cindy Clark as they deal with their homes that were heavily damaged when Michael passed through the area.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Morning BriefingYour Morning Briefing is published weekdays at 6 a.m. Eastern and updated on the web all morning. See all Morning, Weekend and Evening briefings together.Hurricane Michael, Kanye West, Jamal Khashoggi: Your Thursday BriefingHurricane Michael, Nikki Haley, Taylor Swift: Your Wednesday BriefingHurricane Michael, Hope Hicks, Google Plus: Your Tuesday BriefingMore in U.S.Eric Thayer for The New York TimesHurricane Michaels Deadly Strike Leaves Florida Panhandle ReelingHurricane Michael: One Mile of Devastation in FloridaScott McIntyre for The New York TimesHurricane Michael Live Updates: 13 Deaths in a Vast Trail of DestructionEric Thayer for The New York TimesHospitals Pummeled by Hurricane Michael Scramble to Evacuate PatientsJonathan Bachman/ReutersA Fighter Jet Flipped. Hangars Shredded. At Tyndall Air Force Base, a Complete Loss.Roy RadneyLast Night Was Just Hell: Father Describes Death of Girl, 11, During Hurricane MichaelTrendingA Map of Every Building in AmericaThe Case of Jane Doe PonytailThe Trump Rally: A Play in Three ActsHurricane Michael Live Updates: 13 Deaths in a Vast Trail of DestructionOpinion: Goodbye, Political Spin, Hello Blatant LiesHurricane Michael: One Mile of Devastation in FloridaAndrew Brunson, U.S. Pastor Held in Turkey, Is Ordered ReleasedOpinion: Did Hell Freeze Over? My Republican Dad Is Voting for a Democrat A Fighter Jet Flipped. Hangars Shredded. At Tyndall Air Force Base, a Complete Loss.Opinion: After Ruining Mayonnaise, Can Millennials Save America?Advertisement

Video: Hurricane Michael sweeps Florida panhandle, leaving many without power

Damaged boats are seen in a marina after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the panhandle area with category 4 winds causing major damage. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

But instead of making an example of Cardinal Wuerl, who was named in a recent Pennsylvania grand jury report that accused church leaders of covering up abuse, Francis held him up as a model. The pope cited Cardinal Wuerls nobility and announced that the 77-year-old prelate would stay on as the archdioceses caretaker until the appointment of his successor.

Images, video show Michaels destruction: All I can see is devastation

A destroyed buiding is seen after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the panhandle area with category 4 winds causing major damage. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Florida Panhandle faces a stark reckoning as a clearer picture of the scope of Hurricane Michaels devastation comes into focus. Mexico Beach, where the storm made landfall, is a flattened wreck, and much of the Panhandle is a scene of collapsed buildings and damaged roads. Follow our live briefing for updates.

Michaels death toll up to 11, including 5 dead in Virginia

People walk along a street blocked by a building after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Debris is seen piled in the street after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the panhandle area with category 4 winds causing major damage. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Members of the South Florida Search and Rescue team search for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Both President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia have a lot to lose in the dispute. On Thursday, they agreed to form a joint working group to examine Mr. Khashoggis case, suggesting that they were looking for ways to de-escalate the situation.

Members of the South Florida Search and Rescue team search for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Facebook said on Thursday that it would remove around 800 pages and accounts run by Americans, many of which amplified false and misleading content in a coordinated fashion. And Twitter took down 50 accounts this month thought to be run by Americans posing as Republican lawmakers.

Members of a Search and Rescue team search for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Members of the South Florida Search and Rescue team search for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Pope Francis this morning accepted Cardinal Donald Wuerls offer to step down, a moment many victims of clerical sexual abuse had hoped would demonstrate the pontiffs commitment to holding accountable bishops who have mismanaged cases of sexual misconduct.

Members of the South Florida Search and Rescue team search for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Separately, advocacy groups in Georgia have filed a lawsuit after reports that Brian Kemp, the secretary of state and the Republican nominee for governor, stalled more than 53,000 voter registrations, including a disproportionately high number of black voters.

Before and After Images Show Hurricane Michaels Major Destruction in the Florida Panhandle

A statue is covered in sand after it was knocked over by Hurricane Michael as it passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Our Interpreter columnists Max Fisher and Amanda Taub recommend this Twitter thread: Erin Ruberry, a writer, posted a series of images showing how zoo professionals weigh various baby animals — baby panda, baby penguin, baby giraffe, you name it.

Members of the South Florida Search and Rescue team search for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

While whereabouts is commonly used as a noun, it began as an adverb (Whereabouts are you from?). That means the s at the end is an adverbial suffix — think of always or besides — and not an indicator of a plural noun.

Members of the South Florida Search and Rescue team search for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A member of the South Florida Search and Rescue team searches for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

• In an interview: Cardinal Wuerl said that he would continue to live in Washington and that he expected to keep his position in Vatican offices that exert great influence, including one that advises the pope on the appointment of bishops.

Unimaginable destruction: Michael smashes rows of houses in Panama City

A home is seen after it was destroyed by Hurricane Michael as it passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the panhandle area with category 4 winds causing major damage. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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A member of the South Florida Search and Rescue team searches for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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After Hurricane Michaels rampage in Florida Panhandle, storm still has punch as it heads north

 A member of the South Florida Search and Rescue team searches for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Helicopters fly above the destruction caused when Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Homes washed away by Hurricane Michael are shown in this aerial photo on October 11, 2018, in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the panhandle area with category 4 winds causing major damage. (Photo by Chris O'Meara-Pool/Getty Images)

MEXICO BEACH, FL – OCTOBER 11: Homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael are shown in this aerial photo on October 11, 2018, in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the panhandle area with category 4 winds causing major damage. (Photo by Chris OMeara-Pool/Getty Images)

Debris from homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael block a road on October 11, 2018, in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the panhandle area with category 4 winds causing major damage. (Photo by Chris O'Meara-Pool/Getty Images)

Debris from homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael litters the ground on October 11, 2018, in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the panhandle area with category 4 winds causing major damage. (Photo by Chris O'Meara-Pool/Getty Images)

Debris from homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael litters the ground on October 11, 2018, in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the panhandle area with category 4 winds causing major damage. (Photo by Chris O'Meara-Pool/Getty Images)

Debris from Hurricane Michael fills a lot on October 11, 2018, in Mexico Beach, Florida. Hurricane Michael made landfall Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds and a storm surge of 9 feet. (Photo by Chris O'Meara-Pool/Getty Images)

AP Photos: Hurricane leaves Floridas Mexico Beach in shreds

Homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael are shown in this aerial photo on October 11, 2018, in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the panhandle area with category 4 winds causing major damage. (Photo by Chris O'Meara-Pool/Getty Images)

 Boats lay among the debris from homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael on October 11, 2018, in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the panhandle area with category 4 winds causing major damage. (Photo by Chris O'Meara-Pool/Getty Images)

Florida cancels mobile morgues, no mass casualties found

Members of the South Florida Search and Rescue team search for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Members of the South Florida Search and Rescue team search for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Charles Smith looks at what is left of his hotel after it was destroyed when Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Members of the South Florida Search and Rescue team search for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Brian Bartlett from the South Florida Search and Rescue team checks in on Tom Garcia after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

After Michaels rampage on Florida Panhandle: Nothing Left

 A pickup truck sits on the spot where a home was located before Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A Coast Guard helicopter passes over a damaged home and the foundation of where a home once stood (to the right) before it was blown away by Hurricane Michael as it passed through the area on October 11, 2018. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Hurricane Michael: Towns in Florida Panhandle devastated like a war zone

Members of the South Florida Search and Rescue team search for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Tom Bailey walks his bike past a home that was carried across a road and slammed up against a condo complex as Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Jim Bob looks out on the destruction caused as Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the panhandle area with category 4 winds causing major damage. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Hurricane Michaels transformation to monster storm stuns experts

A member of the South Florida Search and Rescue team searches for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Members of the South Florida Search and Rescue team search for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Cars are piled on top of each other after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the panhandle area with category 4 winds causing major damage. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Ryder Vickers, Robert Brock and Dawn VIckers (L-R) wait to be evacuated after their home was heavily damaged during Hurricane Michael on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A member of the South Florida Search and Rescue team searches for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Michael evolves into noreaster-type low pressure system, but still affecting land

Damaged boats and docks are seen after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the panhandle area with category 4 winds causing major damage. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Toppled trees are seen after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the panhandle area with category 4 winds causing major damage. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Photos taken Thursday in Mexico Beach illustrate the extent of the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael.

The Times eyewitness account to damage inflicted by Hurricane Michael after landfall

Michael roared ashore Wednesday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane near Mexico Beach, rendering the town nearly unrecognizable. Members of the South Florida Search and Rescue team spent Thursday searching for survivors in the destruction.

State officials said 285 people in Mexico Beach had defied a mandatory evacuation order ahead of Michael. 

Michael charges into Southeast after slamming north Florida | WSB-TV

Photos show downed power lines, houses ripped apart and vehicles that seem to have been thrown around like rag dolls. Entire houses were carried into the middle of the street. 


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