Almost 50 People Missing in Florida After Hurricane Michael Ravages Beachfront Town

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Gee had thought her grandmother and other two relatives had evacuated before the Category 4 storm with 155 miles per hour winds made landfall in Mexico Beach and roared across Florida's Panhandle into Georgia, flattening trees and damaging structures in its wake. The storm has killed at least 18 people, a number that officials say is likely to rise as emergency crews work to reach some of the hardest-hit areas.

Donald Trump flew to Florida on Monday to see first hand the devastation wrought by Hurricane Michael, the storm that left at least 18 people dead and dozens more missing after slamming the Panhandle last week.

Drone aerial video from Mexico Beach, Florida shows a stretch of the town with nearly every structure no longer standing.

A water tower lay on its side. "To see this, personally, it's very tough".

'If we lose only one life, to me that's going to be a miracle, ' Mexico Beach Mayor Al Cathey told Florida media.

Schools will stay closed indefinitely, a hospital halted operations and sent 200 patients to hospitals elsewhere in Florida and in Alabama, and more than 253,000 customers in the Panhandle remain without power.

The Associated Press has put the overall death toll at 17, including one death in Mexico Beach confirmed by a search and rescue team and six others confirmed by local officials in Florida.

Gov. Rick Scott's U.S. Senate campaign announced Monday that he expects to be so busy with Hurricane Michael recovery that he might not do any more campaigning before the November 6 election and that First Lady Ann Scott will take over his campaign appearance commitments for at least the next couple of weeks. Rollins extolled the virtues of first responders. The route also took him near Tyndall Air Force Base, which was damaged by the storm.

It comes after First Lady Melania Trump took a solo trip to Africa earlier this month. About 1,700 search and rescue personnel have checked 25,000 homes, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said.

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Authorities have set up distribution centers to dole out food and water to victims.

Emergency officials said they've received thousands of calls asking about missing people, but with cellphone service out across a wide area, they found it impossible to know who among those unaccounted for were safe but just unable to dial out to friends or family. "Everybody has been incredible". "I didn't see nobody in panic mode".

"I knew I had made my commitment to stay with my animals. Everything we asked for, they delivered", Scott said.

Melania Trump will join President Donald Trump on a visit to Florida's storm-ravaged Panhandle on Monday.

The president comes to Florida to witness firsthand the impacts of climate change after telling "60 Minutes" on Sunday that he now believes climate change is indeed not a hoax.

His urgent message came shortly after President Trump approved an emergency declaration in the state, extending federal resources to Florida in anticipation of the impending hurricane.

"Right now what we need is the possibility for the people to use the restrooms and something that they can shower off. Some of them have no trace of a home", Trump told reporters at the airport.

Since the storm, many people have been rescued from the devastated zones.

Trump last month visited North and SC after they were hit by Hurricane Florence.

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