Today, the top focus is the enormous search and rescue efforts currently underway. These law enforcement and first responders are heroes and are leaving their families to help others. We cannot thank them enough. pic.twitter.com/Flbh0YdX9U— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) October 11, 2018
Hurricane Michael hit Mexico Beach on the panhandle of Florida on Wednesday before moving on to other southeastern states. By mid-afternoon on Thursday, more than 486,000 homes and businesses in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas had no electricity, and officials had confirmed six deaths, CNN reported. Michael had also been downgraded to a tropical storm.
Florida called for support during the recovery. On Wednesday, the Florida Division of Emergency Management stated that more than 19,000 power restoration personnel were positioned to respond according to previously confirmed mutual aid agreements. The Florida National Guard has activated 3,500 soldiers and airmen for high-water and search-and-rescue operations; prepared 1,000 high-water vehicles, 13 helicopters, and 16 boats; and coordinated for 15 aviation assets including helicopters from other states.
Nearly 1,000 law enforcement officers were ready to deploy to areas impacted by the hurricane, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was prepared to respond with a variety of specialized equipment, including shallow draft boats, ATVs, airboats, and four-wheel-drive vehicles.
Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Transportation was preparing roadways for impacts from the hurricane, including preparing standby generators for traffic signal support.
Manatee County in Central Florida made the trip to the panhandle for recovery assistance on Thursday morning. The county sent its newest, under-warranty assets, and staff conducted pre-trip inspections. The caravan included ambulances and a fuel truck, and fleet management also included normal wear-and-tear parts for vehicles as well as diesel exhaust fluid, said Matt Case, fleet division manager for the county. He said deployment is expected to be for five to 10 days.
It will be tough work restoring everybody in Bay County. #hurricanemichael did severe damage to the county, but we are working around the clock restoring power and #restoringhope #BayCountyStrong pic.twitter.com/VreEgVU16b— Gulf Power (@GulfPower) October 11, 2018