The death toll from Hurricane Michael, one of the strongest storms ever to hit the mainland US, now stands at 11, and authorities fear they will find more bodies as they search devastated communities in the Florida Panhandle and elsewhere. NBC News reports that 1.5 million people were without power Thursday night as Michael, now classified as a post-tropical cyclone, gained new strength after moving out over the Atlantic and brought yet more rain to North Carolina. The National Hurricane Center predicts that the storm will move rapidly away from the US over the weekend. More:
- "Devastated Town, USA." Florida is still tallying the cost of the storm, but it is clear that recovery will take a long time, the Washington Post reports. Entire oceanfront communities on the Gulf Coast have been almost completely destroyed. Florida Department of Transportation worker Curtis Locus says he has never seen anything like it. "This is Party Town, USA. Now it's Devastated Town, USA," he says. "Everything along the coastline was devastated like a war zone."
- "I've never been so scared in my life." Harrowing stories are emerging from communities including Mexico Beach, which took a direct hit from the storm, the AP reports. Dawn Vickers says the storm ripped her home from its foundations and split it in two. Vickers and her family spent the night sheltering in one waterlogged half. "I've never been so scared in my life," she says. "We were all praying, 'Just please get us through this.' I thought we were going to die."