Hurricane Michael: Claims 18 lives so far, search continues in affected areas

Hurricane Michael: Death Toll Rises To 18; More Than 1,000 Still Reported Missing

Reporters trailing Mr. Trump flew over Panama City and Mexico Beach and observed thousands of uprooted trees stacked in uneven rows, homes with roofs ripped open or missing completely. Said Trump: "This is really incredible".

Chuan Milford cries while she thanks Florida National Guard soldiers for loading up her vehicle with food and water.

A woman in a green Philadelphia Eagles T-shirt thanked the first lady for her anti-bullying campaign.

Michael made landfall as a 155 miles per hour, Category 4 storm on October 10 near Mexico Beach, Florida in Bay County and is estimated to have caused $8 billion in damages in addition to claiming at least 18 lives.

Gee fled her home near Panama City with her two children on Thursday but was concerned about her aunt and uncle.

Reporters trailed the president in a separate helicopter.

The route also took him near Tyndall Air Force Base, which was damaged by the storm. From left are FEMA director Brock Long, resident, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Trump, and the first lady.

Republicans in Florida, including Scott, disagreed with Trump and said they did not dispute the death toll numbers.

Mexico Beach police chief Anthony Kelly told VOA's Spanish Service, "When you come here and see the devastation, it's hard, it's emotionally hard".

Scott, who is running for the U.S. Senate, returned the praise, saying, "Every time I've called, he's come through".

The Florida Panhandle took a direct hit from Michael.

Numerous houses in the town of about 1,000 people had no roofs. Scott said thousands of utility workers were on the scene, working to bring power back to storm-battered communities.

Some in the affected area were lukewarm about the president's visit.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have arrived in Florida to survey damage in the state as well in Georgia from Hurricane Michael.

Scott greeted Trump upon his arrival at Eglin Air Force Base near Valparaiso.

In nearby Lynn Haven, where the mayor said there was no loss of life, Trump walked up to a house where a massive pine tree lay on the front yard next to a palm tree that stood tall.

The White House said it was fully committed to helping state and local agencies with recovery efforts.

"We still haven't gotten into the hardest-hit areas", he said, adding with frustration: "Very few people live to tell what it's like to experience storm surge, and unfortunately in this country we seem to not learn the lesson".

Graffiti asking for President Donald Trump's help on a damaged building after Hurricane Michael in Callaway, Fla., Oct. 14, 2018.

In neighboring Georgia, emergency officials said Sunday that approximately 120,000 customers in the state remain without power after in Michael's wake.

Letty Cervantes prays Saturday during Mass, which was moved outdoors because of damage from Hurricane Michael to Saint Dominic Catholic Church in Panama City, Florida.

Be Civil - It's OK to have a difference in opinion but there's no need to be a jerk. "We still don't have an accurate assessment of how many people we have cut off from everybody else", said Rubio.

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