Drone footage shows Hurricane Michael’s destruction across Florida

Shocking drone footage shows devastation of Hurricane Michael, including battered Tyndall Air Force base, as one of seven killed is identified as girl, 11, and 1.3 MILLION struggle with no power

  • Drone footage shows Mexico Beach, Florida, a small beachfront community, nearly destroyed from the storm
  • Other drone footage shows destruction at the Tyndall Air Force base in Florida, including an overturned plane 
  • At least seven people have been killed since Hurricane Michael touched down in Florida, officials confirmed 
  • Eleven-year-old, Sarah Radney, was struck and killed by debris from a carport outside her home in Georgia
  • Five other deaths were confirmed in Florida and one in North Carolina; officials said death toll is likely to rise

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.

The storm caused ‘catastrophic damage’ at the Tyndall Air Force, which sits on the shoreline between Panama City and Mexico Beach, a small 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. The base’s aircraft, which include F-22 Raptors, were flown hundreds of miles away as a precaution. Forecasters predicted 9 to 14 feet of water at Tyndall.

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.  

Col Brian Laidlaw, 325th Fighter Wing commander, wrote on Facebook: ‘We are actively developing plans to reunite families and plan to provide safe passage back to base housing.’

The storm has claimed the lives of seven people across Florida, North Carolina and Georgia, including 11-year-old Sarah Radney.

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    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 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.

    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 

    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.

    Almost 1.2 million homes and businesses were without power from Florida to Virginia on Thursday because of the storm.

    The number of people in emergency shelters was expected to swell to 20,000 across five states by Friday, said Brad Kieserman of the American Red Cross. 

    Meteorologists watched satellite imagery in complete awe as the storm intensified.

    ‘We are in new territory,’ National Hurricane Center Meteorologist Dennis Feltgen wrote on Facebook. ‘The historical record, going back to 1851, finds no Category 4 hurricane ever hitting the Florida panhandle.’

    Based on its internal barometric pressure, Michael was the third most powerful hurricane to hit the US mainland, behind the unnamed Labor Day storm of 1935 and Camille in 1969. 

    Based on wind speed, it was the fourth-strongest, behind the Labor Day storm (184mph), Camille and Andrew in 1992. 

    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.


    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

    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 

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

    Georgia’s Department of Agriculture is coordinating efforts to assist recovery in Southwest and Central Georgia, areas most affected by the hurricane.

    Commissioner Gary W. Black, in a news release Thursday, said crops, animals and infrastructure have all taken a substantial loss because of the storm.

    Black says poultry contributes $23.3billion to Georgia’s economy and has reported the most widespread power outages and losses. 

    He says 84 chicken houses, estimated to have held more than 2 million chickens, were destroyed. 

    The farms, dairies and processing plants affected were in Appling, Colquitt, Coffee, Decatur, Evans, Houston, Mitchell, Randolph, Lee and Wilcox counties.

    Damaging winds also drove much of the cotton crop to the ground for a total loss or tangled it, making it harder to extract clean lint during the ginning process. Assessments for peanuts and pecans are ongoing.

    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.

    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.


    Hurricane Michael left nothing more than empty foundations and heaps of rubble when it smashed into Florida’s northwest coast near the small town of Mexico Beach on Wednesday


    One of the hardest-hit spots was Mexico Beach where entire blocks of homes near the beach were washed away, leaving nothing but concrete slabs in the sand


    Trees were stripped to stalks, roofs were shredded, trucks toppled and boats pushed into buildings. Downed power lines lay nearly everywhere, while pine trees were stripped and snapped off about 20 feet high


    Rows and rows of other homes were reduced to piles of debris or crumpled and slumped at odd angles

    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.

    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.

    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 

    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

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      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.

      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.

      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 

      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.

      A dramatic video shows the moment members of the United States Coast Guard rescues a trapped woman in Florida. 

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        The Coast Guard (pictured) 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

        An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and crew, from Mobile, Alabama, rushed to Panama City on Wednesday to rescue an unidentified woman (pictured) after she survived the devastation Hurricane Michael

        An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and crew rushed to Panama City on Wednesday to rescue the unidentified woman after she survived the devastation Hurricane Michael. 

        In the video, a member of the Coast Guard is lowered down to the ground. 

        A few moments later, a rescue basket is also lowered as the woman is located and helped inside. 

        She’s then lifted back into the helicopter followed by the first responder who rescued her. 

        The woman was then transported to a hospital. 

        The rescue came just hours after Hurricane Michael ripped through Florida’s Panhandle, nearly wiping out Panama City and Mexico Beach. 

        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’

        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 

        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 600,000 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 330,000 people in Virginia were left without power, more than 310,000 in Florida, almost 190,000 in Georgia, almost 27,000 in Alabama and almost 16,000 in South Carolina, local utilities reported. 

        Authorities said it would likely be a while before all power was restored. 

        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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