Death toll from Florida hurricane at least 29, hundreds missing

Muriel Hammond
October 18, 2018

"There is an urgent need for cleanup, recovery and reconstruction efforts in multiple counties devastated by Hurricane Michael", said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Michelle Dennard.

Scott directed Florida's Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier to freeze property insurance rates for 90 days as businesses and residents recover from the hurricane, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "While the FCC has been in regular contact with companies serving the affected areas, I'm concerned that their actions on the ground aren't matching the urgency that we have conveyed during those conversations".

Florida officials have begun criticizing the time it is taking Verizon to restore cellphone service on the Panhandle. But Pai wants more.

"I am therefore joining Governor Scott in calling on wireless carriers to waive the bills of Floridians in these affected areas for the month of October and to allow them to change carriers without penalty".

In a recent statement, FCC chairman Ajit Pai slammed USA carriers for their slow efforts to restore service in areas affected by Hurricane Michael.

Almost 163,000 homes and businesses remained without power in the U.S. Southeast, with residents of battered coastal towns forced to cook on fires and barbecue grills.

In total, the storm has killed 29 people across four Southern US states, officials said.

AT&T said it's deployed 15 portable cell cites to the most damaged areas to provide connectivity.

Last month, President Donald Trump tweeted that "3,000 people did not die" in the hurricanes that hit the island past year. "We plan to continue extending these credits through October 21, and will continue as conditions require", he said in an email. We continue to move quickly to keep our customers, FirstNet subscribers and public safety agencies connected as they work to keep our communities safe. "We are now supporting communications with portable cell sites (COLTs) in numerous locations throughout Florida and Georgia, and working to deploy additional recovery equipment as needed".

Verizon also said on its hurricane update page today that it brought two new cell sites into service overnight, but the company did not say when connectivity will be fully restored. "This free service is for both consumer and business accounts".

"We are working on the crews to clear every one of the streets to make sure that there's availability for you to get out of your home and be able to navigate to the aid stations that we have across the city", Panama City Manager Mark McQueen told residents in a Facebook Live message Sunday.

Maybe her 79-year-old aunt sought shelter at the sturdy condo nearby that withstood Hurricane Michael's devastating winds. "Crews continue their fiber fix work throughout the day today".

Another death was also confirmed by officials in Georgia, three in North Carolina and six in Virginia. He said that, in Bay County, the medical examiner's office had no electricity as of Monday afternoon and was relying on a generator. "He's not going into get into the sewage water with other people and start digging".

State officials said fuel shortages are not widespread, but in some communities residents were running out of fuel, scrambling to find where it was available and waiting in line for hours once they did find it.

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