Horrifying drone footage shows Hurricane Michael’s path of destruction across Florida

Horrifying drone footage shows Hurricane Michael’s path of destruction across Florida as authorities confirm the devastating storm has killed seven people, including an 11-year-old girl, across Florida, North Carolina and Georgia. 

The storm caused ‘catastrophic damage’ at the Tyndall Air Force, which sits on the shoreline between Panama City and Mexico Beach, a small beachfront community which was almost completely destroyed.

Footage from the drone shows damage to nearly every home on the base. Buildings were left completely destroyed and a parking lot was filled with overturned RVs and trucks. 

An F-15 fighter jet on display at the base’s entrance was torn from its base and flipped upside down.

Air Force officials said the base has ‘sustained extensive damage and has been closed until further notice’. The base’s 600 families evacuated the area on Monday. No injuries have been reported there as of Thursday evening. 

The storm has claimed the lives of seven people, including 11-year-old Sarah Radney, who was tragically killed in Georgia. 

Horrifying drone footage shows Hurricane Michael's path of destruction across Florida as authorities confirm the devastating storm has killed seven peopled is Mexico Beach 

Horrifying drone footage shows Hurricane Michael's path of destruction across Florida as authorities confirm the devastating storm has killed seven peopled is Mexico Beach 

Horrifying drone footage shows Hurricane Michael’s path of destruction across Florida as authorities confirm the devastating storm has killed seven people. Pictured is what’s left of Mexico Beach 

The storm caused 'catastrophic damage' at the Tyndall Air Force, which sits on the shoreline between Panama City and Mexico Beach (pictured), a small beachfront community which was almost completely destroyed

The storm caused 'catastrophic damage' at the Tyndall Air Force, which sits on the shoreline between Panama City and Mexico Beach (pictured), a small beachfront community which was almost completely destroyed

The storm caused ‘catastrophic damage’ at the Tyndall Air Force, which sits on the shoreline between Panama City and Mexico Beach (pictured), a small beachfront community which was almost completely destroyed

 

 

Search-and-rescue teams fanned out across the Florida Panhandle to reach trapped people in Michael’s wake Thursday as daylight yielded scenes of rows upon rows of houses smashed to pieces by the third-most powerful hurricane on record to hit the US

By all accounts, Sarah was safe inside her grandparents’ home when Hurricane Michael roared into southwest Georgia.

If the family feared anything, it was probably falling trees – not a carport next to the house.

In what could only be described as a freak accident, authorities say Michael’s powerful winds lifted the portable structure high into the air and slammed it back down on the house. 

When it landed, one of the legs tore through the roof, fatally striking Sarah in the head.

Sarah’s father and stepmother, Roy and Amber Radney, said Thursday that Sarah loved being around her big family and made everything more fun.

One of Amber’s favorite memories is watching her stepdaughter dance to Outkast’s song ‘Hey Ya!’ in a park about two years ago.

Five people were killed in Florida after the storm devastated the state’s Panhandle.   

A man died in a storm-related traffic accident in North Carolina on Thursday.

Authorities said the death toll is likely to rise.

Buildings were left completely destroyed and a parking lot was filled with overturned RVs and trucks. Pictured is a destroyed airplane hanger at the base 

Buildings were left completely destroyed and a parking lot was filled with overturned RVs and trucks. Pictured is a destroyed airplane hanger at the base 

Buildings were left completely destroyed and a parking lot was filled with overturned RVs and trucks. Pictured is a destroyed airplane hanger at the base 

A soldier stands guard at the damaged entrance to Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida 

A soldier stands guard at the damaged entrance to Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida 

A soldier stands guard at the damaged entrance to Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida 

Boston-based Karen Clark & Company, an insurance company that produces models for catastrophes is estimating Hurricane Michael caused about $8billion in insured losses.

The company released the estimate Thursday. It includes the privately insured wind and storm surge damage to residential, commercial and industrial properties and automobiles. 

But the figure does not include losses covered by the National Flood Insurance Program.

KCC estimates that nearly half of insured loss from Michael occurred in Florida’s Bay and Gulf counties.

Total damages from storm surge are estimated to be $3.7billion, of which about ten per cent will be insured.

The devastation inflicted by Hurricane Michael came into focus Thursday with rows upon rows of homes found smashed to pieces, and rescue crews struggling to make their way into the stricken areas in hopes of accounting for hundreds of people who may have stayed behind.

Sarah Radney, 11, was killed during the storm

Sarah Radney, 11, was killed during the storm

Authorities say Michael's powerful winds lifted a carport and slammed it onto her family's home. When it landed, one of the legs tore through the roof, fatally striking Sarah in the head

Authorities say Michael's powerful winds lifted a carport and slammed it onto her family's home. When it landed, one of the legs tore through the roof, fatally striking Sarah in the head

The storm has claimed the lives of seven people, including 11-year-old Sarah Radney (pictured), who was tragically killed in Georgia. She was killed when a carport smashed into their home and struck her in the head 

Sarah's father and stepmother, Roy and Amber Radney, said Thursday that Sarah (bottom right) loved being around her big family and made everything more fun

Sarah's father and stepmother, Roy and Amber Radney, said Thursday that Sarah (bottom right) loved being around her big family and made everything more fun

Sarah’s father and stepmother, Roy and Amber Radney, said Thursday that Sarah (bottom right) loved being around her big family and made everything more fun

The devastation inflicted by Hurricane Michael came into focus Thursday with rows upon rows of homes found smashed to pieces, and rescue crews struggling to make their way into the stricken areas in hopes of accounting for hundreds of people who may have stayed behind 

The devastation inflicted by Hurricane Michael came into focus Thursday with rows upon rows of homes found smashed to pieces, and rescue crews struggling to make their way into the stricken areas in hopes of accounting for hundreds of people who may have stayed behind 

The devastation inflicted by Hurricane Michael came into focus Thursday with rows upon rows of homes found smashed to pieces, and rescue crews struggling to make their way into the stricken areas in hopes of accounting for hundreds of people who may have stayed behind 

Michael is the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental US in over 50 years.

Though reduced to a tropical storm, it brought flash flooding to North Carolina and Virginia, soaking areas still recovering from Hurricane Florence.

Under a clear blue sky, families living along the Florida Panhandle emerged from shelters and hotels to a perilous landscape of shattered homes and shopping centers, beeping security alarms, wailing sirens and hovering helicopters.

Gov Rick Scott said the Panhandle woke up to ‘unimaginable destruction’.

‘So many lives have been changed forever. So many families have lost everything,’ he said.

The full extent of Michael’s fury was only slowly becoming clear, with some of the hardest-hit areas difficult to reach because of roads blocked by debris or water. 

An 80-mile stretch of Interstate 10, the main east-west route along the Panhandle, was closed.

Firefighter Austin Schlarb performs a door to door search in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida 

Firefighter Austin Schlarb performs a door to door search in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida 

Firefighter Austin Schlarb performs a door to door search in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida 

The full extent of Michael's fury was only slowly becoming clear, with some of the hardest-hit areas difficult to reach because of roads blocked by debris or water 

The full extent of Michael's fury was only slowly becoming clear, with some of the hardest-hit areas difficult to reach because of roads blocked by debris or water 

The full extent of Michael’s fury was only slowly becoming clear, with some of the hardest-hit areas difficult to reach because of roads blocked by debris or water 

Mishelle McPherson (pictured) and her ex-husband searched for the elderly mother of a friend. The woman lived in a small cinderblock house about 150 yards from the Gulf and thought she would be OK. The home was found smashed, with no sign of the woman

Mishelle McPherson (pictured) and her ex-husband searched for the elderly mother of a friend. The woman lived in a small cinderblock house about 150 yards from the Gulf and thought she would be OK. The home was found smashed, with no sign of the woman

Mishelle McPherson (pictured) and her ex-husband searched for the elderly mother of a friend. The woman lived in a small cinderblock house about 150 yards from the Gulf and thought she would be OK. The home was found smashed, with no sign of the woman

Some of the worst damage was in Mexico Beach, where the hurricane crashed ashore Wednesday as a Category 4 monster with 155mph winds and a storm surge of 9 feet. 

Video from a drone revealed widespread devastation across the town of about 1,000 people.

Entire blocks of homes near the beach were obliterated, reduced to concrete slabs in the sand. 

Other homes were turned into piles of splintered lumber or were crumpled and slumped at odd angles. Entire roofs were torn away and dropped onto a road.

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

National Guard troops made their way into the ground-zero town and found 20 survivors Wednesday night, and more rescue crews were pushing into the area, with the fate of many residents unknown.

Some of the worst damage was in Mexico Beach, where the hurricane crashed ashore Wednesday as a Category 4 monster with 155mph winds and a storm surge of 9 feet 

Some of the worst damage was in Mexico Beach, where the hurricane crashed ashore Wednesday as a Category 4 monster with 155mph winds and a storm surge of 9 feet 

Some of the worst damage was in Mexico Beach, where the hurricane crashed ashore Wednesday as a Category 4 monster with 155mph winds and a storm surge of 9 feet 

Entire blocks of homes near the beach were obliterated, reduced to concrete slabs in the sand. Other homes were turned into piles of splintered lumber or were crumpled and slumped at odd angles. Entire roofs were torn away and dropped onto a road 

Entire blocks of homes near the beach were obliterated, reduced to concrete slabs in the sand. Other homes were turned into piles of splintered lumber or were crumpled and slumped at odd angles. Entire roofs were torn away and dropped onto a road 

Entire blocks of homes near the beach were obliterated, reduced to concrete slabs in the sand. Other homes were turned into piles of splintered lumber or were crumpled and slumped at odd angles. Entire roofs were torn away and dropped onto a road 

Mishelle McPherson and her ex-husband searched for the elderly mother of a friend. 

The woman lived in a small cinderblock house about 150 yards from the Gulf and thought she would be OK. The home was found smashed, with no sign of the woman.

‘Do you think her body would be here? Do you think it would have floated away?’ McPherson asked.

As thousands of National Guard troops, law enforcement officers and medical teams fanned out, the governor pleaded with people in the devastated areas to stay away for now because of hazards that included fallen trees and power lines.

‘I know you just want to go home. You want to check on things and begin the recovery process,’ Scott said. But ‘we have to make sure things are safe.’

More than 900,000 homes and businesses in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas are without power.

The Coast Guard said it rescued at least 27 people before and after the hurricane came ashore, mostly from homes along the Florida coastline, and searched for more victims.

Among those brought to safety were nine people rescued by helicopter from a bathroom of their home in hard-hit Panama City after their roof collapsed, Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronald Hodges said.

Aerial photos of the aftermath of Hurricane Michael on St Teresa Beach, Florida 

Aerial photos of the aftermath of Hurricane Michael on St Teresa Beach, Florida 

Aerial photos of the aftermath of Hurricane Michael on St Teresa Beach, Florida 

Danny (right) and Gina Holland (left) collect water in Parker, Florida. 'We're running out of water,' said Danny of his neighborhood up the street that was damaged by the storm. 'We're going to make do'

Danny (right) and Gina Holland (left) collect water in Parker, Florida. 'We're running out of water,' said Danny of his neighborhood up the street that was damaged by the storm. 'We're going to make do'

Danny (right) and Gina Holland (left) collect water in Parker, Florida. ‘We’re running out of water,’ said Danny of his neighborhood up the street that was damaged by the storm. ‘We’re going to make do’

Kylie Strampe holds her four-month-old daughter, Lola, while surveying the damage from Hurricane Michael after riding out the storm in Callaway, Florida

Kylie Strampe holds her four-month-old daughter, Lola, while surveying the damage from Hurricane Michael after riding out the storm in Callaway, Florida

Kylie Strampe holds her four-month-old daughter, Lola, while surveying the damage from Hurricane Michael after riding out the storm in Callaway, Florida

In Panama City, most homes were still standing, but no property was left undamaged. 

Downed power lines lay nearly everywhere. Roofs had been peeled off and carried away. 

Aluminum siding was shredded to ribbons. Homes were split open by fallen trees.

Hundreds of cars had broken windows. Twisted street signs lay on the ground. Pine trees were stripped and snapped off about 20 feet high.

In nearby Panama City Beach, Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford reported widespread looting of homes and businesses. 

He imposed a curfew and asked for 50 members of the National Guard for protection.

The hurricane also damaged hospitals and nursing homes in the Panama City area, and officials worked to evacuate hundreds of patients. 

The damage at Bay Medical Sacred Heart included blown-out windows, a cracked exterior wall and a roof collapse in a maintenance building. No patients were hurt, the hospital said.

The state mental hospital in Chattahoochee, which has a section for the criminally insane, was cut off by land, and food and supplies were being flown in, authorities said. 

Landlines and cellphones also were down to the complex, which has nearly 1,000 residents and more than 300 staff. They relied on emergency radios to make contact with first responders.

A woman walks through a damaged store in Springfield, Florida, on Thursday 

A woman walks through a damaged store in Springfield, Florida, on Thursday 

A woman walks through a damaged store in Springfield, Florida, on Thursday 

Kelsey Gronbeck walks past damaged homes after checking on a friend's house in the aftermath of hurricane Michael in Callaway, Florida 

Kelsey Gronbeck walks past damaged homes after checking on a friend's house in the aftermath of hurricane Michael in Callaway, Florida 

Kelsey Gronbeck walks past damaged homes after checking on a friend’s house in the aftermath of hurricane Michael in Callaway, Florida 

As the storm made its way inland, it caused havoc in Georgia, spinning off possible tornadoes and taking down power lines and trees. 

Forecasters said it could drop up to seven inches of rain over the Carolinas and Virginia before pushing out to sea Thursday night.

In North Carolina’s mountains, motorists had to be rescued from cars trapped by high water.

‘For North Carolina, Michael isn’t as bad as Florence, but it adds unwelcome insult to injury, so we must be on alert,’ Gov Roy Cooper said.

Fast-moving Michael left North Carolina behind with rivers rising and more than 530,000 households in the dark.

Cooper’s office said the power outages were concentrated in central North Carolina’s Piedmont region, as trees and power lines toppled under the pressure of winds of up to 60mph.

Flash flooding was snarling the state’s two largest cities, Charlotte and Raleigh, as well as the university town of Chapel Hill. 

Dozens of swift water rescues and evacuations were needed in the Piedmont region as well as the state’s mountains and foothills.

More than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast were ordered or urged to clear out as Michael closed in. But emergency authorities lamented that many people ignored the warnings.

‘Why people didn’t evacuate is something we should be studying,’ said Craig Fugate, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and a former Florida state emergency management chief. ‘Is there more the government can do? But we ask that every time.’

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