Blue sky and calm water belies the damage done by Hurricane Michael to the Mexico Beach, Florida, area

By Reporter

The death toll is expected to rise this weekend in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael as hundreds remain unaccounted for along the Florida Panhandle where decimated communities are cut off and in the dark.

As of early on Saturday, state officials were reporting that at least 18 have been killed in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

Rescue teams, hampered by power and telephone outages, were going door-to-door and using cadaver dogs, drones and heavy equipment to hunt for people in the rubble in Mexico Beach and other Florida coastal communities, such as Port St. Joe and Panama City.

‘We still haven’t gotten into some of the hardest-hit areas,’ said Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Friday, noting that he expects to see the number of people killed climb.