The death toll from Hurricane Michael rose to at least 16 on Friday amid fears it would continue to climb as search-and-rescue teams scour the debris of the Florida town that bore the brunt of the monster storm. After Hurricane Irma previous year, 14 people died when a south Florida nursing home lost power and air conditioning. "We got everything tied down".
Fast and furious Hurricane Michael barreled toward the Florida Panhandle late Tuesday night with 125 miles per hour winds and a potentially catastrophic storm surge of 13 feet, giving tens of thousands of people precious little time to board up and get out.
Florida's disjointed property insurance system that relies nearly exclusively on small and midsize companies will take a multibillion-dollar loss from Hurricane Michael, but has sufficient reserves and backups that providers should be able to pay claims without problems, analysts say.
"You feel sorry for people", Scott said.
"When state and local officials tell you to get out, dang it, do it. Get out", he said. Bob Tenbrunson, a Mexico Beach retiree, rode out the storm at his daughter's house in nearby Panama City and returned to survey the damage to his home.
"I just can't bring myself to spend that much money", she said. "We'll starve to death by then", she said. "I have been trying to patch it up the best I can".
In Cuba, the storm dumped more than 10in of rain in places, flooding fields, damaging roads, knocking out power and destroying some homes in the western province of Pinar del Rio.
Disaster agencies in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua reported 13 deaths as roofs collapsed and residents were carried away by swollen rivers.
Others came with nothing - as there was nothing left to save.More news: President Trump Signs Landmark Music Act Into Law
In some states, like Virginia and North Carolina, it's a misdemeanor to refuse a mandatory evacuation order.
U.S. media on Friday quoted authorities in Jackson County, Florida, as reporting three deaths there, bringing Michael's toll to at least 16.
President Donald Trump announced plans to visit Florida and hard-hit Georgia early next week but did not say what day he would arrive.
Most of the state's damage from last Wednesday's Category 4 storm is in the sparsely populated Panhandle, lessening the financial blow.
The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has called on the Florida Secretary of State and Division of Elections to immediately extend the state's voter registration deadline, which is now set for today, October 9, 2018.
"We are with you!" he tweeted.
While Florence took five days between the time it turned into a hurricane and the moment it rolled into the Carolinas, Michael gave Florida what amounted to two days' notice.
As the hurricane passed through Florida, it made its way to Georgia, becoming a Category 1 storm by 8 p.m.
The base was evacuated ahead of the hurricane and the costly fighter planes were flown to other installations out of the path of the storm.