Florida schools scramble to get students back in class after Hurricane Michael

Doug Carpenter
October 15, 2018

Of the 17 people killed as the hurricane swept through the Florida Panhandle, Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina, only one confirmed death has been reported in Mexico Beach.

Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long said he expected to see the death toll rise. The company, however, said some outages in the hardest hit areas could take several days to fix.

A psychiatric hospital in Florida is isolated after downed trees blocked roads around Chattahoochee, and a tree caused a water line to break.

"We're learning painfully that we shouldn't be doing those kinds of exemptions", said Don Brown, a former legislator from the Panhandle who now sits on the Florida Building Commission. "There's nothing normal about where we are right now", Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt told WMBB.

Long asked people in the areas directly hit by the storm to be patient for what is poised to be a long recovery, because it will take time to assess the damage and confront the destruction.

The American Logistics Aid Network was created after Hurricane Katrina to better coordinate logistics between public, private and humanitarian organizations.


Meanwhile, Carroll said, authorities were setting up a triage tent to treat Mexico Beach residents stepping on nails and cutting themselves on debris.

"We were going to establish a mortuary location".

'We're going into recovery mode, unfortunately, ' said Fire Chief Alex Baird of Panama City, one of the coastal Florida communities clobbered by the hurricane.

The destruction has been especially severe in Mexico Beach, where the water, sewage and communications systems were destroyed, which could take months to fix. There are people out here on dialysis, but there is no power, ' Fontenot said.

But when search and rescue and medical teams are needed, the ability for those emergency responders to communicate might be paramount.

"I will not recall you and your families until we can guarantee your safety".


It was downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved through the Carolinas, which are still recovering from last month's Hurricane Florence. But he gave no information on how many planes were on the base during the storm or how many were damaged.

And on land, some highways are closed or open only to essential traffic, says Randy Ofiara, a vice president at Tampa-based BlueGrace Logistics, which helps companies manage their supply chains. In Georgia, Southern's Georgia Power unit said it expected to restore service to most customers over the next couple of days with those in the hardest hit areas by October 16.

Ofiara says that can affect a huge range of businesses, such as Midwestern manufacturers waiting on delivery of parts or grocers in the Northeast that need fresh oranges.

Then, moments later, Swett said he heard gunshots. "So you will see delays".

On Sunday, state emergency officials said a major focus was ensuring people in shelters would be comfortable, by setting up temporary showers, laundry trailers, portable toilets, electronics charging stations and board games for children.

"We're just trying to help some other people who may not be able to get out of their driveways for a couple of days", Braxton said.


That's partly because of the hurricane response efforts, he adds, saying that there is already a shortage of truck drivers across the country.

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