PANAMA CITY, Florida — State officials now say Hurricane Michael is to blame for 16 deaths, officially doubling the number of people killed in the state from the hurricane.
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State officials did not provide details on how the victims died, but they do say 12 of those deaths occurred in Bay County.
That includes two people who did not evacuate in Mexico Beach, who were killed. The mayor of Mexico Beach says they are the only two deaths so far in the town, which was decimated by Michael.
The Associated Press says another 10 people have died in Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina.
Days after Hurricane Michael slammed into the Panhandle, residents are still dealing with missing people, power outages, lives turned upside down and the massive overall task of rebuilding their lives.
As of Tuesday, about 130,000 North Florida homes remained without power.
Depite the loss of power, Florida officials are working to make sure those impacted by Hurricane Michael have food, water and a place to stay.
Emergency supply distribution centers are set up and are prepared to hand up to 3 million meals and 2 million gallons of water. Crews also 3 millions pounds of ice ready to hand out.
No widespread fuel shortages are being reported and FEMA is providing shelter options for residents, including hotel rooms.
Also, eight school districts in the Florida Panhandle will stay closed until further notice. Public schools in Escambia County, which is in the Pensacola area, have enrolled several students who have relocated from the storm-ravaged areas.
According to the Florida National Guard, about 3,500 troops continue to be involved in a variety of missions such as search and rescue, road clearance, shelter assistance, food and water distribution, and aviation missions.
Current Florida National Guard operations:
- Flown 35 aviation missions totaling 178.8 flight hours
- 294 assigned missions assigned
- Performing 1 SAR mission in Bay County
- Performing 6 route clearing missions in Bay County
- Currently manning 6 shelters in the following counties: Bay, Calhoun and Gulf
- Is operating 27 Points of Distribution (PODs) in the following counties: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Jackson, Liberty, Wakulla and Washington
- Is manning State Logistics Response Center (SLRC) in Orlando and Logistics Staging Areas (LSAs) in Tallahassee and Marianna
- Providing communication support packages (RERN & SNAP) in the following counties: Liberty, Jackson, Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf, Washington and Bay
- 5 security missions in the following counties: Bay, Liberty and Gulf